Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"Are You With Jesus?", - A Closer Look by Reggie Koop

Mark 4:35-41

I wanted to give this Teaching Moment a title, but can’t really decide what it should be.  You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t rock the boat”, but I think I need to title it, “Rock the boat”.

In this gospel of Mark, you can see as soon as Jesus started his ministry, He rocked the boat, especially with the religious leaders.  The verse I want to look at this morning is Mark 4:36.

Key scripture: Mark 4:36, “and when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as He was in the ship.  And there were also with him other little ships.”

If you remember from verse 1 of chapter 4, Jesus got into a ship because of all of the people that had gathered. What do you visualize when you hear the word ship?

If you remember when they translate from one language to another they have to use words of the language that  best resembles the word that they are trying to translate.  So in the King James Version they use ship.

Now the English Standard Version reads, “and leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as He was.  And other boats were with him.”

So what do you visualize when you hear the word boat?

The Jesus Boat from the Sea of Galilee
The picture here is a boat which was discovered in 1986 in the muddy lake bed of the Sea of Galilee during a time of severe drought. They discovered a hull of a fishing boat old enough to have been in the water in the time of Jesus and his disciples.  There is no evidence that links this particular boat to Jesus and his disciples. But using radio carbon dating, it has been established that the boat was used as a fishing vessel between 120 BC and 40 AD which would be the time Jesus spent on the Sea of Galilee. The remains were 27 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and 4.3 feet high.  This size would have enabled it to carry up to 15 people. The method of construction identified it as typical of ancient boats in the Mediterranean region. It had a rounded stern and a fine bow.  And the fore and aft sections were decked.

We don’t know exactly how many were with Jesus at this time, but back in chapter 3 Jesus called his 12 apostles out of the disciples that were following him, so there could have been up to about 72 disciples at this time.

Looking back at verse 36, “and other boats were with him.” This may account for the number of other boats, but if you think about the multitudes of people that came to hear, see, and most importantly to them to be healed.  I’m sure that many had traveled by boat also.

I believe the key to this verse is found in 2 little words, “with him.”  We are either with Jesus or we are not. All of the other boats would experience the same storm as Jesus did.   And when a person, or a group of people, a congregation or a church, or a denomination desires to follow Christ, they will share in the joys, as well as, the persecutions that may (will) come.

Obedience brings no immunity from trouble.  It is said, one may boldly and cheerfully put to sea in Christ’s company, yea though we foresee a storm. Thus, I really want to title this Teaching Moment:  “Are you with him?”

Applying this to our lives:

1. If we are with Christ we have to be ready for anything that comes our way – both joys and persecutions.
  • Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Matthew 5:12: “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
  • John 15:20: “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”
  • Luke 6:23: “Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven:”

2. Pray that God will put opportunities in your path.  If God is before it, He will be in it.  Be ready and go.

3. Get ‘r’ done.

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