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The Hand of Sovereignty (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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May 14, 2021 6:00 am

The Hand of Sovereignty (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 14, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 6:30-45)

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I want to just emphasize to us all that the sovereignty of God, what would it mean to us without the scripture? We'd be so confused, we'd be like the Jews in the days before Moses gave them the law.

There were those that just believed and knew better, but there were many of them that were, their houses were idle infested and they just could have had a hard time letting it go. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. The title of today's message is called The Hand of Sovereignty and Pastor Rick will be teaching in Mark chapter 6. I'm right there with them because there are times when I'm not getting it. And you know what, I have a flashback of Nicodemus and the Lord saying to him, are you the teacher of Israel and you don't get it? I've heard God say that to me. Are you the pastor, the Bible teacher, you don't get it?

No. I mean, it's not that I don't get it, I don't want it. I don't want the circumstances. I know what you want me to do.

I always know what you want me to do. I just don't always want to do it. My flesh. And he tells us, you know, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Okay, so what are you telling me? Are you telling me, pastor, that that's your out every time? You're just weak? You just, you know, you don't want to do it?

Not at all. I will still grab from my sword and I will swing it nonetheless. Whatever weaknesses I have, I still have enough to hold the word. And he knows that and it has, all I can say is I'm still standing and it is because of him. And so when he says you give them something to eat and they counter with it, what do you want us to do? Take a lot of money into town and buy bread for these thousands of people? He's bringing them face to face with their own inability to meet human needs without him.

They don't see it at the moment but they're going to get it full force eventually and I don't mean in a harsh way. Again, John's gospel and his parallel account. But this he said to test him when he asked the disciple for he knew what he would do.

He knew what he was going to do the whole time. A denarii is a day's pay and to have 200 denarii is about 800, I mean about eight months of wages, which money that they don't have. Judas might have it. He may have stolen enough from everybody else but anyway, well that's what you do when you steal something. That's from everybody else. Verse 38, and he said to them, how many loaves do you have? Go see. And they went and found out and said, five loaves and two fish.

You can hear their tone. Like, you know, okay, here's how much we have. We have a boys lunch box.

That's what they had. This little basket, mom sent them, okay, you're going to go run with the disciples and see Jesus? Fine.

You make sure you get your bread and fish basket and you go. And he does. And Andrew is the one that buddied up with the kid. Andrew is just everybody's buddy.

When you got that kid? And, you know, so he brings word back. Verse 38, but he said to them, how many loaves do you have?

Go see. And they found and said, five and two fish. Verse 39, then he commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. Green grass. Chloros, where we get our English word chlorine from, and there's a green yellow in the Greek.

He said, what does that have to do with the story? Well, it's Passover season. The grass is beginning to do, it's still raining and it's starting to turn.

It's going to brown up as it dries out, but the seasons. John's Gospel, again, chapter 6, now the Passover, a feast of the Jews was near. So it's March, April, just a timestamp for us. Verse 40, let me pause there. Of course, Peter's telling the story, more than likely. John may have, John Mark, may have been there also. Somebody remembered this little detail. To someone, this was a vivid memory. And it enters into the scripture. And it's a very human touch. It is God saying, these are eyewitnesses. These are men that were there. And just quite natural of them. I can remember, the grass was just like green yellow kind of just, you know, and it finds its way into scripture. If it were creative writing, we'd have pages more of this kind of stuff, but we don't.

We just have these little bits every now and then. Because these men were so focused on what was going on. I think they hid the identity of many people, fearing that they would be persecuted.

I think they also left out some facts because of various good reasons. I think the way we have the Gospel presented to us with the three synoptic Gospels and the one independent Gospel, I think it is an act of God how it is given to us. It forces us to think through the challenges, to see if there's contradictions or not.

We'll come to that trust in the Word a little bit. But coming back to this, verse 40, so they sat down in ranks in hundreds and in fifties. Now that kind of organization will make distribution go a lot more smoothly. And the coming miracle of fish sandwiches that everybody's going to get does not need to be hampered with chaos. Very smart. And this would also help identify how many people were there.

You break them down into ranks, you just do the multiplication. Verse 41, and when he had taken the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them, and the two fish he divided among them all. So he says grace before the meal. He does this at the Passover, too.

We are to do the same thing. First Thessalonians. Now a little background here, the Thessalonian church, when Paul writes this first Thessalonian letter, it's a new church. He and Silas established this church while still bleeding from the beating in Philippi.

And so these people that were attracted to their message knew about this beating, knew what they were getting into. They're pretty solid believers early on. And not just months after he establishes this church, he writes to them this Thessalonian letter. And so he treats them, he gives them end times information, he gives them how to disfellowship if you have to somebody, and who to be with and who not to be with as far as fellowship goes. And he says this, in everything give thanks for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. In everything, you know, we all know the Philippian, be anxious for nothing but in all things with thanksgiving, prayer and supplication.

Well, here it is straight out. This is the will of God. We see Christ giving us that example. He takes the food and he blesses it. I try not to let even, you know, anything go into my mouth without saying thank you, Lord.

I eat the, you know, you can be fruit, vegetables, candy, milkshakes. I'm very grateful for God feeding me. And I don't mean to say that I am and you haven't been. I'm not being, preaching down at you.

I'm just enjoying the moment because I remember when I wasn't that way. So he looked to heaven because that's where everything comes from. That is good. But what we see in this also, and this is kind of standard in preaching on this verse, what he takes, he blesses. And what he blesses, he breaks. And what he breaks, he distributes.

That is very good preaching. I just don't want to be the one broken. But there's no way to really have the Lord distribute through you unless there's some breaking going on. Unless there's some hardship, some facing life, suffering of various sorts. You know, you can go through life, you know, healthy and really unscathed by many things, but still internally there's that struggle.

You can't put your finger on why it's there. As David said, why are you cast down, O my soul, why? Trust in God, David goes to say.

I didn't need a whole dissertation where all what you've got is. He didn't need all of that. He just trusted in God. Verse 42, so they all ate and were filled. These are the apostles now. They ate first.

Everybody else is sort of gathering, wondering what's going on. Christ has enough momentum through his healings and teachings for them to be patient enough. But before we can be used to feed others, we ourselves must feed on the great work and truth of Christ personally. We kind of anointed someone who acts like a know-it-all when they know nothing.

We identify that. The person doesn't know what he's talking about. John's gospel, Peter said to him, chapter 13, this is when he's washing the apostles' feet. Peter said to him, you should never wash my feet. Jesus answered, if I do not wash you, you have no part with me.

If I don't feed you, if I don't wash you, if I don't fill you, what can you do? First Corinthians, Paul says, for I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, first received. Then he goes on to say this, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. You see, it's always the Word of God. Man shall not live by bread alone but by the Word of God. And Satan is notorious for coming along and saying, okay, enough with the Bible now.

Now it's time for something practical. Well, we're doing practical things as best we can but that can get away from us too. I mean, we just opened the bookstore and just gave everything out. People would take books away that they never would read just because they're free.

It's just how people are. We have to learn how to manage the blessings that God gives us. I remember as a relatively new believer, I was just devouring God's Word. And I went on a church camping trip and I'm lying there in a tent and Satan said, I think you're putting just too much into Christ. It's just too much Bible reading, just way too much. And almost instantly the Lord spoke to me, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. You need to throw everything you've got into me as best you can. And that's where largely my struggles have been in my life.

I've not been able to do that. According to what I want, I mean, I walk around this really holy man and that's what we all want when we come to Christ. And we find out it's a fist fight, bare knuckles. It's a very ugly thing. It's not choreographed.

It doesn't come out the way we planned. We have to be swift to make adjustments on the move and still be obedient to Christ. And so all the gospels record this. But I want to just emphasize to us all that the sovereignty of God, what would it mean to us without the scripture? We'd be so confused. We'd be so scattered. We'd be making it. We'd be like the Jews in the days before Moses gave them the law. There were those that just believed and knew better.

But there were many of them that were, their houses were idle infested and they just could have had a hard time letting it go. So John, even he, records this miracle. And John wasn't in the habit of loading up with the miracles as the synoptics were. But anyway, fish sandwiches for everyone, energy rich, proteins and carbohydrates.

I know some of you think carbs are evil, but you've got to have them if you're going to have bread. Verse 43, then they took up 12 baskets full of fragments and of the fish. Where did they get the baskets? Basket Depot.

It was right there. First off, the boat is one place. These are smaller baskets here.

The Greek gives us that. And that means that they could, they're like lunchboxes. Like today you have backpacks. Well, some of you do.

Am I still here? So the baskets, 12 baskets they have, 12 apostles on the boat. Each one would have his own lunch box kind of a thing.

Sort of like a construction site. Everybody brings their lunch box. Plus there were those that had carts, bringing the sick. Those carts would have had baskets on it. You have one kid at least that knew enough to have his basket of lunch. It's not a big thing. But I like these kind of questions. You know, everybody's out there, stores are closed.

Where do they get the baskets? Well, there are some very easy answers for that. But this multiplying of the bread and the fish, for God who gave a whole nation out in the desert 40 years of manna, this is just not hard to believe. He turned water into wine already and that seemed to go over the apostles' heads. John's Gospel chapter 1, verse 3, all things were made through him and without him nothing was made that was made.

He's sovereign. Colossians chapter 1, a little background on the Colossian church. Paul probably never visited that little church, but of course the Gnostics were messing with the believers.

And so Paul took to pen and wrote the Colossian letter to them to say, you don't need all that stuff. You're complete in Christ. Never mind these philosophies and these endless ideas.

You have enough in Jesus Christ, a lesson that many Christians don't seem to get. Well, he says, for by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. He's talking about Jesus Christ, visible and invisible. Where the thrones of dominion or principalities or powers, all things were created through him and for him.

Now what part do you not get about that? If you're a believer, you have to accept his power to create. It is exactly what we would expect from God walking the earth, the ability to take fish and bread and multiply them from one lunchbox to feed a multitude of thousands.

Nobody was there with a camera to take pictures of these things, but they did have writing instruments and so they wrote it down. Verse 44. Now those who had eaten the loaves were about 5,000 men. Again, the apostles are very busy. Look at verse 52 of Mark chapter 6.

With me, please. He says, for they had not understood about the loaves because their hearts were hardened. You see, that's the point I've been trying to make throughout, that this was going over the disciples' heads. Some of them saw the miracle at Cana.

They saw the other miracles and still the sovereignty of this Jesus Christ wasn't taking root in them enough because they said, what are we going to do, take Denari into the town and buy? What kind of silly answer is that? He could have said, you know, I'm tired of you. Phew.

Hung them up in a tree. But because he would never do that. I would if I had the power.

No, I would not. But it's fun to think about. Where was I?

Okay. Verse 44. Those who had eaten the loaves were about 5,000 men. The Greek word for men is strictly men, males.

It is no way to introduce anything else to it. Matthew chapter 14. Now those who had eaten were about 5,000 men besides women and children. Typically, the women and children in public gatherings ate separately from the men. So when they were dividing them up, it's very likely that the women were in their groups and the women and children and the men were in their groups separate. This would help them be able to say, here's how we know there were 5,000 men.

And in that time the women were not, you know, well, you know, figure it out. You know, the wives and children with them, you could again have tripled that number to 15,000. Some say 20,000.

I don't dispute either number. What's a few thousand amongst miracles? When he repeats this type of miracle, and he will later for 4,000 men, will anybody be able to say, ah, he was just lucky that time.

So here's a point for this morning. Some who profess Christ are terrified about admitting miracles. They're just uncomfortable with the miracles of Christ. They don't mind when Charlton Heston does a miracle, dressed as Moses. But when it really comes down to real life, they're not comfortable with these things.

Why is that? I think one reason is because they think they have to answer to the overlords of human reason. They feel like if somebody real smart away from Christ doesn't agree with them, that they might be right, and the Bible is wrong.

They're panicked by the thought that science may prove the Bible wrong instead of emboldened by the fact that science and the Word of God are always in unity together. We have nothing to fear these people. These overlords are telling us, you know, everybody needs to wear a mask because you're ugly.

Right? I'm assuming that's why they're doing it. I mean, we're seeing this now. We're seeing the overlords of science ruling like despots and everybody lining up to it. But it's been happening in the minds of some people a long time before this when they came to their Bible, and that's why you have these liberal theologians, these liberal authors in Christ's name. They'll use the scripture here and there, but they're the ones smart enough to know when the scripture is right.

You're not. And they're bestsellers. Let me give you a little hint. If a book is a bestseller, it probably doesn't agree with Christ. I mean, there's not 100 percent.

Every now and then, one comes by to keep us on our toes, but it is the way it is. A. W. Toja's books should be bestsellers. Vance Havner's books should be bestsellers. Charles Spurgeon's sermons should be bestsellers. You're not going to find anything like this that's better of anything that's coming out of theology today. You will not find better than those three men, just for an example that I just mentioned.

Why is that? I think it has something to do with the Tower of Babel, the passage of information, the joining of the world to the church. It's always been a struggle, but what's different from any other time in history is the ability to pass information at speed that we can't even measure.

I mean, you just send an email to somebody in another country and they've got it as soon as you push send. Anyway, I kind of went down a rabbit trail, because it's fun sometimes. It's better to go down a rabbit trail than an alligator trail. Hebrews chapter 11, this is for those who are panicked at the thought that science may prove the Bible wrong. Hebrews 11, 3, by faith we understand that the world is refrained by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

There are other things at work. We don't know it all, but God does, but we do know enough and what we do know is not wrong. Today's media would not have reported this event or they would have corrupted it. They would have said He fed thousands, but then we found trail loads of food and they just would try to take it away from Him. Verse 45, immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side to Bethsaida while He sent the multitude away. So here's why this is so important. And John is the one that tells us, well I'll go right to what John is saying.

Not yet. When Mark says immediately, he means, and then the next thing that happened throughout his gospel, but here it is actually an urgent call. So where he says, immediately He made His disciples get in the boat, there was something forcing the moment. There was an urgent need and John tells us what it is in chapter 6 of verse 14 and 15, after Jesus had fed everyone.

Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, this is truly the prophet who is to come into the world. Therefore, when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. So He feeds them, He understands, okay, they're going to try to force Me to be their king. So He gets to His deposit, I want you to get in this boat, I want you to get out of here.

I don't want this to be any part of what I'm doing and what is happening with you. And so He's getting them out of the area, He will leave and likely as I believe go atop of Mount Arbel that is there on the shore of Galilee. He'd have no kingship based on selfish satisfaction and that's what it is. They wanted to enslave the miracle worker so that he could be like a peds dispenser.

They just push the button and a loaf of bread comes out. That's what they saw their Messiah to be. The messianic fervor was in the air. They figured they could force Him to be king, then they could rally Galilee, then they could march on Jerusalem. These are the kind of thoughts that were going through these carnal men's minds. What about the teachings He was giving them? When He stepped off the boat He began to teach them. Well, those teachings about God are only good if they're subject to what men need.

That was their approach. They did not want to crown Him because of His person or His teachings but for His goodies. Mark's Gospel chapter 8, Jesus said, Get behind me Satan for you are not mindful of the things of God but of the things of men. We ought to remember these kind of verses.

This comes out of expositional teaching. It comes out of your devotional time. They wanted bread and miracles to become a permanent thing and no more Gentiles. That was another part of it which makes the book of Acts so incredibly powerful. When Peter goes to the house of Cornelius and he brings the Gentiles into Christianity because they become filled with the Spirit, so speaking it down, he says, Let's baptize them right now.

Who can deny them? So Jesus did not believe. The voice of the people is the voice of God, said some of the ancients. Jesus said, I disagree with that. Jesus believed it is the voice of God that is the voice of God and the people must line up to that and that is His sovereign right.

We who know Him because of His Holy Spirit would love that it is so. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-18 17:38:29 / 2023-11-18 17:48:14 / 10

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