Daily D – Mark 6:45-46
Mark 6:45, 46 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. (New International Version)
- There was a power encounter with a demonized man. (5:1-20)
- Jesus was asked to heal a twelve-year-old girl and was interrupted on the way by a woman who had been suffering from an illness for twelve years. The woman was healed. The girl died while Jesus was on the way, but was raised to life when Jesus arrived. (5:21-43).
- Jesus was rejected in his hometown synagogue. (6:1-6)
- Jesus sent out the Twelve to the surrounding villages with authority to do what he had been doing. (6:6-13)
- The apostles returned and reported all they had done and taught. Jesus called for a time of rest. Rest was interrupted by a large crowd. Jesus had compassion on them “because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” He then fed the 5,000. (6:30-44)
If you are following along, Jesus and the disciples were on the way for a time of rest. They were interrupted by a series of dramatic events. These events ended when Jesus sent the disciples away in the boat to Bethsaida while he dismissed the crowd. (6:45)
There are a couple of times when people are most vulnerable to temptation, most prone to sin. One of those occasions is when we are fatigued. Physical fatigue accompanied by mental fatigue can make us prone to comforting ourselves inappropriately. Beware if donuts or salty snacks are available. Beware if you find yourself alone with unlimited internet access.
Another occasion when we are most vulnerable to temptation is when we have experienced significant success. Our adversary enjoys offering personal pleasures when we win big. At the moment when we think we are on top of the world and can do anything but fail, we are especially in danger of a dramatic fall.
What did Jesus do after a stressful stretch and significant success?
Dear friends, let us plan ahead for what happens after significant setbacks or significant success. Let us plan ahead for physical and mental exhaustion. Let us pray.
Consider the wilderness temptation of Jesus as recorded in Luke 4. Verse 1 says Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit.” He was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Jesus was tempted at the point of appetite, ambition, and approval. He had planned ahead. He knew what to say and what to do. He did not sin. Verse 14 tells us the bottom line truth: “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”
At the very points where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus succeeded.
- Jesus was full of the Spirit when we stepped into a season of ultimate vulnerability.
- Jesus was led by the Spirit into that place where he was most vulnerable.
- Jesus returned from the experience in the power of the Spirit.
Right now is a good time to put together your game plan for winning the battles of temptation.
- Where will you go to pray and to allow God to protect you, defend you, and deliver you from the tempter’s snares?
- What defensive measures should you put into place now to protect you in days to come?
- What will it look like and feel like to emerge on the other side of temptation stronger and victorious?
I will plan ahead for moments of vulnerability and temptation.
Our Father, the evil one will come to tempt me at the points of appetite, ambition, and approval. Please empower me with the proper preparation to overcome these temptations and to emerge from them stronger. What the evil one intends to harm me, use to make me stronger instead. Amen.
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Ezra 8:31, 32 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.
Esther 6:1, 2 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”