Mark 6 Reflection by Alex H
The first thing that struck me about the start of this chapter, where Jesus is rejected from his home town, was that, as young people we work with journey with Jesus, we might have to let them go... That they might need to go elsewhere to really grow in their ministry. That sounds heart breaking to me in many ways, to not get to be part of that next bit of the journey. But as John wrote about Mark 5, we need to be thinking about this as a part of our work with young people and growing them in leadership.
Later in the passage I was struck by how Herod was more inclined to believe a man he knew was dead (because he'd seen his severed head having given the order for his beheading) had come back to life than believe that Jesus could be the messiah. It got me thinking about how people might believe all sorts of things instead of the truth we try to share because for them that seems easier. I'm not sure exactly what the reflection or learning point is on this, but perhaps it's to do with having patience as we share the gospel, and a willingness to keep sharing in different ways.
Something else that stuck with me was from verse 31 that says the disciples got so busy they didn't even have time to eat. Made me think of us and how many of us have been sharing how busy we feel. Jesus sees it and says come with me and have some rest. What a beautiful invitation.
I'm not sure how restful the boat journey would have been (might have been lovely on the water or hard work, really no idea about the sailing environment), but when then get to the place of rest they don't get one, instead they get caught up in Jesus' compassion and the story of the feeding of the 5 thousand happens. They get to see an amazing miracle, but then they are back in a boat and this time it's clearly hard work in the storm. They freak out at Jesus on the water and when they eventually land it's back to ministry.
It doesn't sound like they got that rest Jesus promised.
It's an interesting thing to reflect on as I think about us saying that we are tired and need rest. Jesus took time out by himself and got rest. He saw that the disciples needed rest and invited them to come with him, but they don’t seem to ever get it! I’m honestly not sure what I make of this! Perhaps, I was expecting them to have a weekend retreat, a two week holiday by the water. Perhaps, that boat time with Jesus was restful, or could be if they wanted it to be. Maybe we wait for the weekend, or the fortnight off that rarely comes when what we need to find are the regular small moments to rest and be present with Jesus. The long rests are important but that can’t be that often or we’d never do anything else! Perhaps we need to look at our working week, or daily routine and see where we can get 10 minutes, an hour, an evening. It might be choosing to be present with Jesus as we commute to work, go for a run or prepare meals. Then finding the hour or two in the week and then the half day or full day each month. Maybe it’s having a new perspective on ‘rest’.