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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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”