Up Close and Blind
Loving Father, still my heart and quiet my mind so I can worship and enjoy You in this special time.
Read Mark 6:45-56
 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.  Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,  but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out,  because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,  for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.  When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there.  As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus.  They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.  And wherever he went-into villages, towns or countryside-they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was lacking in the disciples reaction to this miracle?
Grumpy and exhausted at the end of a long day that had already been extended once, the disciples were probably relieved to get away from people. It looks as if Jesus was eager to get them on the move (45) to their next destination. They’re still waiting for the debrief after their evangelistic trip, so their sense of frustration with Jesus is probably growing. They’re his followers and he is too busy preaching or praying. Yet even when he is away from them, Jesus still notices what’s happening (48) and pays attention to their well-being. The disciples are with the Messiah almost all the time, and they just don’t get it. They have lost perspective and, even when Jesus is performing miracles and transformation is happening all around them, they don’t always recognize what is going on. In contrast, strangers recognized Jesus and his power (54,55) and received it. Does being too close make us too comfortable, and just a little bit blind? Perhaps people on the outside sometimes see more clearly than those at the center of church life. If you stand back and try to get some perspective on God’s story unfolding in your life or church or community, what do you see?
What do you see God doing in your life, your church and your community? Are you grateful? Are you involved?
Lord Jesus, I want to sense Your presence with me all the time. Help me not to be blind to You.
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