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Kingdom Compassion - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2024 6:00 am

Kingdom Compassion - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 13, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shows you how Jesus takes what is small and simple and uses it to do something great and amazing.

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God uses simple things to do great things. All he had was fish and chips. He fed a multitude. That day when mom was, don't leave the house yet, I'm packing you a lunch.

When she packed that little lunch, she had no idea that it would impact 20,000 people. But it did, because something little placed in the hands of Jesus becomes something great. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip shows you how Jesus takes what is small and simple and uses it to do something great and amazing. Now, here's an opportunity for you to take a deep dive into what God's Word says about the Holy Spirit. How deep is your understanding of the Holy Spirit and the gifts he gives?

Listen as Skip Heitzig unpacks his person and power in this teaching clip. The Holy Spirit is a divine person who helps us. How many of you think you need all the help you can get to live your Christian life?

Yeah, I'm with you. We need help. As you grow in your understanding of the Holy Spirit through our Connect with Skip Heitzig monthly resource, you'll learn how he helps believers, that's you, to walk with Christ.

When it comes to living the Christian life, it's not hard, it's impossible on your own. You need his power to be able to do that. You need his help to be able to do that, and we have his help. For your Connect with Skip Heitzig gift of $50 or more, we'll send you the complete expound Holy Spirit series and Bring the Rain, Skip's book on expositional teaching.

Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. All right, now let's get started with Skip's teaching. We'll be in Mark 6. Ever read that verse, bowels of mercy, and you go, what is that? It's this word splanchna or splanchnizomai, and it is because the ancient peoples believed that the deepest emotions were felt in the stomach. If you have to stand in front of people and speak to them like I'm speaking to you now, you might have a morbid fear of that, and if you have to do that, you get butterflies or you get nauseated, you feel it in the pit of your stomach. Therefore, when it says Jesus was moved with compassion, it means he had tender emotions, tender mercy, sympathetic emotion that he felt in the pit of his stomach.

Why? What caused those feelings? It says because he saw them as sheep, not having a shepherd. They would have understood what that means living in a culture with a lot of sheep and agriculture, sheep without a shepherd. You know what happens to sheep without a shepherd? They die.

Somebody said they wander. They do that, but they die. They don't take care of themselves. They don't feed themselves. They don't protect themselves. If they fall over on their back, they can't get back up on their feet. They get into a caste position, a caste sheep on its back.

Gases build up. Nobody can clean. They can't clean each other.

They don't clean each other. A shepherd has to pick out the pebbles and the thorns and the dirt out of its thick lanolin-filled coat. They need a shepherd. So to say they are like sheep, not having a shepherd is a picture of helplessness. They lack spiritual guidance.

They lack protection. So Jesus welcomed them and saw with tender compassion. These people are like sheep without a shepherd. So what does he do? It says he began, notice what it says, he began to teach them many things.

He was so emotionally moved, he said, sit down. I'm going to give you a Bible study. He began to teach them many things. One translation says he taught them at length.

It must have been long because he didn't get around to giving them lunch until the sun is about to set. Luke says he taught them about the kingdom of God. So just get this picture. They want signs. He gives them truth. They want miracles. He gives them a Bible study.

All of that to say this, keep in mind your greatest need may not be a better job, a new car, or more money. Your greatest need may be for a better understanding of truth which will reveal what you really need. He was so moved with compassion, he taught them many things. This is spiritual compassion, spiritual compassion.

Now it's also going to be physical. In a minute he's going to give them a free lunch, but there's much more than this. Just as proper nutrition is required for physical growth, proper spiritual nutrition is required for spiritual growth, and Jesus always placed the spiritual above the physical. Remember the old saying, you are what you eat? So my question is, what are you? What are you feeding on? What are you looking at?

What are you listening to? So this is practical compassion, spiritual compassion. The third is physical compassion. It takes us really to the heart of this, what we know as the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Verse 35, when the day was now far spent, so they've gone through the day. He's been teaching them through the day.

His disciples came to him and said, this is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Here's their solution. Get rid of them.

Get rid of them. Send them away that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread, for they have nothing to eat. Food was a problem back then. There was no fast food.

They wouldn't invent Smith's for another 2,000 years. I mean, they're sort of stuck wherever they are. They have to go into the villages and get food that has been prepared. There's a lot of people. Verse 37, intriguing answer, but he, Jesus, answered and said to them, you give them something to eat.

And they said to him, shall we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat? Okay, now this is a big crowd. This is a big crowd. Matthew says there were 5,000 men. Mark says 5,000 men. Luke says 5,000 men. And John says there were 5,000 men.

But Matthew adds a footnote. He says there were 5,000 men besides women and children. So if you have 5,000 men, add women and children.

We're not told how many, but let's just guess. Maybe 5,000 women. Maybe wives came. Maybe a few wives came. Moms came. Daughters came. Kids came. There could have been 20,000 people. It's a big crowd. There were just 5,000 men. That's what they reckoned. So let's just say 20,000.

Some reckon there's even 25 or more thousand, but we don't know. So what we discover is Jesus here is not just concerned for His disciples' rest, not just concerned that the crowd hears a Bible study, but He is also concerned about their physical need. The disciples understand. Jesus also understands this crowd is tired and hungry and nobody bothered to pack a lunch except for one kid, right? One little kid. We know the story, so we know there's always that one kid who had the five loaves and two fish. So there was one mom who had—you're not going out the door without lunch.

One of those is there. And what happens now is a physical miracle. It's a miracle. I always get amazed. I read a lot of books on these things, and I'm always amazed at how people feel like they need to help God out and explain how this could have happened without it being a miracle.

So I have commentaries that give explanations, natural explanations for this. It wasn't a miracle at all. One commentator said, really what happened is everybody did bring their lunch, but they were selfish. They didn't want to share until Jesus called out one little boy, and they looked at that example, and they were so convicted by a little boy sharing his lunch that they shared their lunch with everybody, and everybody ate. That's their explanation.

Didn't say that. That's their explanation. Another commentary says, actually, Jesus and the disciples had food already prepared and stored in the place they were going.

This is all staged. So when they get to the shore, it was in a cave, and Jesus is there. The disciples are there.

The crowd is going around, and Jesus sort of backs up, backs up, backs up to the mouth of the cave, and the bread and the fish are being slipped under the arms and being distributed to everybody. That's how they explain it. It's a whole lot easier just to say, it was a miracle. It was a miracle.

What's wrong with that? Lots are so hard to believe. Really? I mean, humans can make 747s that take you around the world, and God can't make lunch? This is a miracle, a physical miracle. Jesus had compassion on them.

Why? Because God is concerned with physical needs. 1 Peter chapter 5, casting all our cares on Him because He cares for us.

Let that just sink into your heart. God cares for you. He cares about the disease you've just been diagnosed with. He cares about the infirmity you bear. He cares. And David said in Psalm 37, I've never seen the righteous forsaken nor His descendants begging bread. God cares enough to take care of His children. Sermon on the Mount, Jesus pointed to the birds, remember?

He said, look at the birds of the air. They don't toil. They don't spin. They don't sow. They don't reap. They don't gather into barns. Then He said this, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Did you hear the wording? Your heavenly Father feeds them. He's not the birds' heavenly Father. He's your heavenly Father. He's the birds' creator, yes. But He's your Father. And if your Father feeds birds, the implication is He's going to feed His children. Can you just think for a moment the cost for God to make you His child?

It took the slaughtering of His only Son. It cost Him that much to make you a child of God and to let Him be your Father. And this is why Peter says in Romans 8, or Paul says in Romans 8, He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

He's got you. He cares for your physical needs. But He does care for your physical needs, but this is not just a free lunch because Jesus has compassion on the fact that they're hungry.

It's more than that. He does a physical miracle to demonstrate to them that He can do a spiritual one. The physical always points to the spiritual. He wants to show them, I can give you physical food because I can also satisfy you spiritually. How do I know that?

I didn't just make that up. I know that because John chapter 6, which is the first chapter of the book, I know that because John chapter 6, which is the parallel account of this story, it says that after this miracle, on the very next day after this miracle, the crowds are still following Him from place to place. And Jesus turned around the next day and said to this crowd, You are only following Me because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don't labor for the food that is, but for the food that endures to everlasting life. That wasn't good enough for them.

They still demanded another sign. They demanded another meal, and Jesus did not feed them the next day. But instead, He said, I am the bread of life. I am the bread that came down from heaven.

If you eat of this bread, you'll never go hungry. And He was talking about His flesh, His body that He would give for the sins of the world. So the physical leads to the spiritual.

This is why we have an ulterior motive with our Thanksgiving pickup party and our toy drive. We don't want to just give people toys and put a smile on their face and put food in their belly and send them to hell well fed. We want them to hear that there's a God who loves them and can change their lives.

The physical points to the spiritual reality. So there's a little bit of an argument going on in these verses. The disciples are considering what this means when Jesus says, You give them something to eat. And they're trying to figure out how much it would cost. They're going through the grocery bill, 200 denarii, by the way. John says it was Philip who came up with that number. Philip, just so you know, Philip was like the bean counter of the apostles. He's like the accountant guy. There's always one of them around. And you need them.

But I can't figure that out. It's going to take like $13,700. That's 200 denarii in today's parlance. And that wouldn't even give him hors d'oeuvres. By the way, it was Philip who said to Jesus, Show us the Father, and then we'll be happy. All we want is to see God, that's all. And that's when Jesus said, If it happened, I hung around with you guys enough.

Don't you know if you've seen me, you've seen the Father? But that's Philip. Philip is trying to figure this out, deal with this issue.

And now this takes us to the fourth level of compassion, and that is communal, communal compassion. Let me describe that, but let's read the verses first. So he says, Give them some to eat. They're trying to figure it out. Verse 38, He said to them, Well, how many loves do you have?

Go and see. When they found out, they said, Five and two fish. Five loaves and two fish. Now, before we go on, what mother in their right mind would give their child five loaves of bread for lunch, right? That's because you and I are thinking of the loaf of bread you buy at the store, right? Wonder bread, you know, or whatever, a big old loaf.

They weren't like that. The fish were little fish. It's not like salmon. It was little fish, pickled fish, by the way. Pickled fish and little tiny flatbread barley loaves like fish and chips, let's say. Pita and pickled fish.

You know, that was it. So it's not like five huge loaves. So, five and two fish. Then He commanded them, made them all sit down in groups on the green grass. There's a lot there.

I don't have time to go through it, but He says green grass. John says it's Passover, so we know it's springtime. But He wants them to sit down in groups. So they sat down in ranks in hundreds and in fifties. Why is that important? Because now you have aisles to make the passing out of the stuff.

And so, He wants to make the passing out of the stuff easier. And when He had taken the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves. We do that to this day. We pray before we eat. Jesus probably gave the traditional Hebrew prayer, Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam min ha'eretz, you know, Hamotzi lechem min ha'eretz. Blessed are you, Lord God, in the universe who has given us bread from the earth. That would be the typical prayer.

He did it publicly. And then He gave them to the disciples to set before them, that's the aisles, and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled, the word means blooded, stuffed, on pickled fish and barley pitas. You're going, I wouldn't. I might have a nibble of that.

But just keep that little thought in mind if you're thinking, ooh, I don't want to eat that. And they took up 12 baskets full of fragments and of the fish, and now those that eat in the loaves were about 5,000 men. Okay, clearly, who does the miracle here? Jesus does the miracle. Who helps Him? The disciples.

This is a communal compassion. He is getting them involved in the work. You have the apostles, the crowd, Jesus, and the little boy. Little boy isn't mentioned, but He's mentioned in the other gospels.

He's here. He says, you give them something to eat. Why would He say that to the disciples?

You give them something to eat. Because He's going to perform a miracle, He's going to use them to distribute the miracle. Now, here's the principle. Jesus is the manufacturer, you and I are the distributors.

That should take a little bit of a load and pressure off of you. You don't have to come up with anything. You don't have to develop something. You don't manufacture anything. All you do is distribute what Jesus has provided.

So He's the distributor or He's the manufacturer. We, His disciples, distribute it. Question. Did Jesus even need help from the disciples? Of course not. Did He even need the boy with the food?

No. He could have just had manna come down from Him. He could have created food ex nihilo, out of nothing. Now, just a note about this miracle. This is a creation miracle.

This proves He's the Creator. This is bread from barley that has never been planted. This is fresh dead fish that was never alive, that never swam. The curse of the earth is ananna. This is uncursed fish, uncursed barley. So when you say, ew, I wouldn't eat that and get stuffed nonetheless, you might. If Jesus made it, I bet it tasted pretty awesome.

I bet they're going, who made this stuff? This is awesome. Now, here's what we learn. God uses simple things to do great things. All He had was fish and chips. He fed a multitude.

That day when Mom was, don't leave the house yet. I'm packing you a lunch. When she packed that little lunch, she had no idea that it would impact 20,000 people. But it did, because something little placed in the hands of Jesus becomes something great. It blesses multitudes.

God wants to use us to bring the bread of life to a needy world. And He does it. He does it.

He manufactures it. We distribute it. We're called the body of Christ, right? That's our term, the body of Christ, used so often in the New Testament.

What does that mean practically? It means we are His hands touching those who hurt. We are His feet going to where people are. We are His mouth speaking words of comfort. We are ears listening to people. We do the work with Him. It is joint. It is mutual. It is communal.

I have a little cartoon that I cut out of a magazine. It's two turtles talking to each other, two turtles on a fence post. One says to his friend, you know, sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice when He could do something about it.

The other turtle turns to him and says, I'm afraid God might ask me the same question. How do needs get met? You feed them. I don't have much. Put it in my hands. See what I can do with it.

Give it to me, and I'll bless it, and I'll multiply it. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. You know my life verse, 1 Corinthians 1, God has chosen the foolish things of this world that confound the wise.

He does it a lot. Some of you go, well, yeah, I've heard you say that, but I'm so insignificant. I really have no gifts, and I really have no talents, and I don't have the resources that others have. I want to say this to you. How dare you look at your littleness instead of God's greatness?

You have no right to do that, child of God, looking at your littleness and insignificance. Just place that in the right hands, and He'll work through you. So this is the math of a miracle. Five loaves plus two fish equals not much, but five plus two plus Jesus, bam, bam, equals great blessing. Somebody once said, when God wants to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty, but when He wants to do something very wonderful, He begins with an impossibility. This was an impossible task.

Two hundred denarii won't even get them hors d'oeuvres. Sit them down. Let's do this.

Let's do this together. So if you wonder, as I think some probably do, why would we have this bold, impossible idea to change our city? This city can't be changed.

I'm moving. They need somebody who will love them with God's love, and they will and they will get well. The words of the doctor.

They need somebody who will love them with God's love, and they will get well. Never underestimate what Jesus can do with the little you have when you turn it over to Him. That's Skip Heitzel with a message from his series, Kingdom City. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. God works powerfully through the generous support of friends like you, changing lives all around the world for eternity. And with your gift today, you'll help expand the ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig to broadcast into more major US cities and connect more people with the life changing message of Christ. To give today, go to connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or call 800-922-1888.

Again, that's 800-922-1888. Thank you. And be here again tomorrow as Skip shows you what you are to be doing as you await Christ's return. What are we to do until Jesus returns? He is coming back. He said He was. He told us to be ready for it. He told us to anticipate it. But do we have a task until that happens? Do we have a commission? And if so, what is it? And once we discover what it is, how do we evaluate ourselves to see if we are living up to that task? Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-13 05:05:49 / 2024-06-13 05:15:05 / 9

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