July 21-23, 2018
Pastor Timothy J. Spaude
Text: Mark 6:30-34 (EHV)
1. He Knows Your Needs.
2. He Provides for Your Needs.
Mark 6:30-34 (EHV) “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” For there were so many people coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat. 32They went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33But many people saw them leave and knew where they were going. They ran there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34When Jesus stepped out of the boat, he saw a large crowd. His heart went out to them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He began to teach them many things.”
Jesus cares. Jesus cares about you. You know this in your head and your heart. All you have to do is look at the cross that stands as a fixed worship reminder of how much Jesus cares for you. So much He willingly suffered the punishment you earned through your sins. The Gospel, the Good News of the Bible proclaims this truth to us. God loves you. God cares. The proof is in Jesus. His primary work was to come as your substitute and save you for eternity. The Gospel, the Good News of the Bible goes on. God cares for your earthly life too. The Apostle Paul so beautifully and eloquently summarized that fact in the book of Romans when he wrote, “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not along with Him graciously give us all things? An obvious truth from the greater to the lesser, but not so easily believed when your life is a mess and your heart is hurting, when you are dealing with conflict or anger or a serious medical condition has suddenly appeared. Shhh! The Holy Spirit whispers to our faith in God’s word. Look at Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus. See how He cares.
His disciples and the crowds in Mark’s Gospel certainly saw how Jesus cares. If you recall from the Gospel reading last week Jesus had sent out the disciples and so they were called apostles meaning “those sent out.” Jesus had told them not to take any provisions. God would provide for them through His people. They were given a bit of Jesus’ authority to cast out demons and heal people. Now they were back swapping stories. “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught.” Can you imagine their excitement? Thomas, “Lord I don’t have any proof but you have to believe me I healed sick people!” Peter, “Lord no one can deny what I did. I told demons to leave and they did. Three times!” James and John and all the rest, eagerly telling all that had happened and how they had told people the Messiah had come. And then Jesus had to tell them what had happened when they were gone. John the Baptist had been beheaded. This too happens to faithful servants of Jesus. What a rollercoaster. Jesus cared about them. He knew what they needed. “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” For there were so many people coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat. 32They went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.” After all their hard work, after emotional highs and lows they needed rest. Jesus knew exactly what they needed.
Others had needs too. “But many people saw them leave and knew where they were going. They ran there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34When Jesus stepped out of the boat, he saw a large crowd. His heart went out to them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He began to teach them many things.” A large crowd of people followed Jesus. They probably felt they needed to see Jesus do more miracles. But that wasn’t their need. They needed to hear the word of God. Jesus knew that. In the following verses of Mark 6 we find the people had another need, food. They had run after Jesus without even thinking of a very real need. But Jesus knew.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus knows your needs too. Your real needs. Some people will talk about a difference between real and perceived needs. A perceived need, for instance, might be a better paying job. A real need might be budgeting skills. A perceived need might be a distressed marriage relationship while the greater real need might lie in a missing relationship with Jesus. Then there is the whole wants and needs thing and we all know how that goes with our kids that they confuse wants and needs, but honestly we big kids do the same. The good news is no matter how we confuse needs Jesus, our Savior, knows exactly what our needs are. He cares and watches us daily. Is your heart hurting because something or someone is missing in your life? Jesus cares. He knows what you need. Got some family or health difficulties? Jesus knows. He knows what you really need. And for those times when difficulty and hardship become a way too familiar companion remember that Jesus knows what you need and if He is allowing something like that to pop up or stay in your life it’s because He knows you need it, like we heard a few weeks ago, that Paul needed a thorn. Jesus cares. He knows your needs.
He provides for them too. Jesus’s disciples needed rest. He took them away. When the crowds caught up with them Jesus was their provider, their teacher, not the disciples. They got to rest and watch. By the way, American Christian, rest is still something God wants you to have. You don’t have to pack every hour of every day. It is God pleasing to get rest each week. The crowds who followed Jesus needed something different. They didn’t need to be entertained by miracles. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus cared. His heart went out to them. He became their shepherd. Practicing the Biblical truth that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God, Jesus first filled that need. He taught them God’s truths. Now they did have that other need, the “we forgot to pack our lunch” need. In the next verses Jesus will take care of that too with the miracle we call the feeding of the 5,000 even though it was probably closer to 20,000. And you really can’t hear Jesus talk about a shepherd without automatically thinking about how as the Good Shepherd He lay down His life for His sheep. Jesus cares. He knows needs and provides needs.
And you are included in that caring, knowing and providing. As your Lord Jesus watches you each day He is watching over you day by day. And day by day He knows exactly what you need and He provides it. This is the truth that enables us to fight fear of what happens next. My Jesus is in control. This is the truth that provides daily contentment. What I have and where I am at is good. And if I don’t have something I want it’s because Jesus knows that it’s not right for me right now. This is the truth that pushes us to be better budgeters of time and money because we know we have been provided what we need and so if we are a little short in time or money it means Jesus is pushing us, motivating us, to be better managers His gifts of time and money. This is the truth that enables us to meet adversity with a smile on our faces because Jesus cares, knows and will provide each step of the way. This is the truth that enabled Paul and you and me too to boast about weaknesses and relish the thorns in our lives. Jesus cares and He provides what we need.
Brothers and sisters, the Pentecost season of the church year that we are in is all about focusing on growth in our faith life. Having every question in life answered, having every want supplied and problem fixed requires no faith. Peace, joy, happiness, contentment in want or plenty, in matters of death as well as life, in time of peace or time of strife, well that takes faith. God’s words give faith. He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also along with Him graciously give us all things? Of course He will. This is Jesus we are talking about. I’m reminded of the very clever motto our 8th grade had last year. “My lifeguard walks on water.” Yours does too. Amen.