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The Hungry Then the Difficult (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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May 31, 2021 6:00 am

The Hungry Then the Difficult (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 31, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 8:1-13)

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Broken Ambitions, Broken Friendships, Broken Expectations. What are you going to do with those things?

This is what determines the maturity of the same. How are we going to respond to these letdowns and heartbreaks? Still waiting, these men is the grand disillusionment that's coming from an unlikely place, Jerusalem. They will arrest their master, who they never saw fail before, and they will murder him.

And they will do it in public. And the disciples are going to have to deal with that. 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. Now, here's Pastor Rick in Mark chapter 8 with his study called The Hungry, then The Difficult. Knowing that they would struggle if they had been sent away hungry and having no intention of sending them that way, even those outside of the covenant, he's going to care for them. 1 John chapter 2 verse 2, he himself is the propitiation for our sins. He's the one that's dealt with our sins personally. And then John says, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. And we see him ministering to representatives of the whole world, those outside of the Jewish covenant, Gentiles.

He cares for them. And the whole world, when we talk about God's love, means just that, not just the elect. If it meant just the elect, he would say God loved the elect.

But he says the whole world. God is looking to save sinners and he's looking to use his people to be a part of that process and every Christian should be concerned about that. And so here they are, three days, their provision spent, verse 3, and if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come from afar. How damaging it would have been to all of his work, the teachings, the healings, and then they get home and they're exhausted if they make it.

What good would that do? Of course, he has the foresight to address this and clearly, when it says here, when Christ is saying to his disciples that some have come from afar, how did he know that? Well, he had to interact with people more than likely through interacting with the people that he was ministering to. Someone coming up to him said, I've come all the way from so-and-so and it registered with him.

He did not dismiss, still means something today. Those who come afar to Christ, he still notices, he still cares, he still has compassion. James writes, and one of you says to them, those in need, depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body. What does it profit? Someone with some critical need, some urgent need, having nowhere else to go and they're in front of you and you do not meet that need, that's negligence.

And negligence is always a serious thing. In verse 4, when it comes to spiritual matters, verse 4, then his disciples answered, how can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness? You and I would have said, you cannot be that dumb. You were there when 5,000 people, men alone, were fed.

How can you ask such a question? Matthew and Mark make no comment from the Lord. He doesn't call them out. He just keeps going forward. I so appreciate that. He's not looking to stick it to me. When it's critical, he'll bring it out.

When it's okay, you know, so hard. Were they overwhelmed? Had they seen so many miracles? They no longer could keep track. Were they themselves exhausted mentally?

I would not count that out at all. They had, you'd think having lived through this situation before, they would apply it. Maybe they thought he wouldn't do it for the Gentiles. Either way, one of the big things that stands out for me is that he just continues to do what he's going to do and how, you know, I walk away and say how clumsy we are in our faith. I'm not ready to judge the disciples when they make mistakes every time they make a mistake. There are some times they're like, yeah, that one was, that one I struggle with. But overall, if I lived then, would I have recognized Christ as the Messiah, as they had come to recognize him?

I would hope so. But again, the Lord does not rebuke them. He will remind them of both the feedings. We'll get to that later in this chapter. We'll look at that down at Mark's Gospel, chapter 8, verse 18. Jesus giving them another lesson, he says, Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear, and do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up? They said to him, twelve. Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?

And they said, seven. So they remembered those little details. And he dismisses it here, he gets back to it later only because it comes up, it's pertinent to what he's dealing with when we move later on in Mark's Gospel. So I look at that and I say, I want to get it right the first time. I do not want to dismiss his miracles, but I know as I'm reading this, I say to myself, Lord, yeah, I know you can do anything.

The problem is, there are times you don't, and that's where I get messed up. Stephen, we mentioned him earlier, what did Christ do for Stephen? He let the stones fly, he let them kill him, he stood up to watch that happen as he received King Stephen into the kingdom. He's got a whole other way of working with things, and I'm never going to find those things out outside of his word. And that requires constantly going over it, repaving, filling the potholes of doubt and confusion and absence of memory. It takes hard work to be a Christian, and it's worth it.

Is there any Christian that wants to come to Christ and say, I don't have to do anything now, I'm saved. Will your salvation be questioned after a while? It is hard work, and once we grab that, once we understand, okay, it's hard work.

In the midst of all the other things I have to do in life, this is still a demand upon me, and it's worth it. Narrow and straight is the way that Christ has laid before us, but once we begin to understand that, it's not so bad. It's when we fight it, acting like laziness is somehow going to be blessed, acting as though it was negligent to somehow honorable with Christ. When we face the facts, we get stronger, not weaker. Maybe after that initial shock may weaken us, but when we regroup. Satan is afraid you're going to regroup. When something happens to you that is horrific or grievous, Satan is afraid that you're going to regroup.

It's good to keep him like that, and it's good to understand that we are going to regroup. The disciples did, after the crucifixion. They were shattered, but they were still gathering, and when he appeared to them, they regrouped. In verse 5, then he asked them, how many loaves do you have?

And they said, seven. Now in chapter 6, when he multiplied the bread and the fish for the Jewish people, it was five loaves and two fish, and so it's a distinct difference between the two miracles. It's not a repeat, verse 6.

So he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke and gave to his disciples to set before them, and they set them before the multitude. I have criticisms of how the New Testament is written and the Old Testament, and so should you if you're a Bible citizen. If you're a Bible student, you look at these and say, why does the sequence out all the time? Why do I have to do this detective and puzzle work? Well, because you'd be worse off if I didn't force you to consider these things and think. My people are supposed to think. I didn't give you a brain just to figure out what you're going to wear in the morning. I've given you a brain to do other things to my glory.

Don't be afraid of that. You know, maybe you don't get good grades in school. Well, you can get outstanding grades with Christ nonetheless. He's not looking for, you know, these pseudo geniuses. No one's a genius to God. Who are you going to stand up before the Lord?

You know, I graduated genius school two years early. Anyway, he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. Why? Because he understands that disorder robs us of blessings.

Order, it is very, it is valuable. You know, if the enemy can scramble us, fragment us, break up, cause disorder, he's going to do it. How many churches have gone down because of disorder, spiritual disorder? Somebody out of line, not where they're supposed to be enough of the time, too often, methodically. He went about resolving this situation. Paul writes to the Corinthians, he says, let all things be done decently and in order. And that church needed it.

Cause they could not, they couldn't control themselves. They felt that they could just, you know, the passage preaching, that gift of teaching is working, I'm going to interrupt that because I've got a rush of a feeling. And they get up and start speaking and Paul's like, you're not helping God. You're helping the devil. You're bringing in confusion and disorder. Let it be done decently and in order because that's how God has set the universe.

If he hadn't, we would never survive. There's something too many churchgoers don't seem to care for in a church. The pastors oversee the church and they keep order in the house because the people, if you're left to ourselves, we will create disorder. One person wants it this way and another one wants it that way.

You got a tug of war now. And folks get offended. They think because they're Christians, they've got to say so in the assembly.

They don't. And Paul never asked permission. Paul said, what do you think? What color should we make the drapes?

He never asked anybody. This is what God is leading to me. This is the direction we're going.

And they loved him. And don't be taken by that. Don't, you know, just if I'm speaking to you, you're wrong, I'm right. I like it that way, but I want you to be right with me. There's some humor in that and I'll say it later again for those of you. Anyway, he knew how to control the crowd.

I think some Christians are so afraid that the past is going to become, you know, a dictator. And then come to their houses and you know what? Have you rearranged the living room?

That's a terrible place for that love seat. I'm using his authority. Here he comes, here he comes. Quick, close the door. Anyway, he knows how to control a crowd and he's preventing a stampede.

Remember, keep this in mind. This is very important to a point I'm going to make later on as students of the word. There's over 4,000 people here and he's controlling the stampede. He says, and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks. You know, when he takes from us, it is never without a great cause.

When he takes something, whatever it is from you, it is never without a greater cause. You may not see it now, you may not see it in this lifetime, but by faith we accept it. This is one thing that distinguishes us from the unbeliever.

We accept it. I am the king's man and if the king says this is how it's going to be, that's how it's going to be because I have enough proof in my faith to trust him. God told the prophet Ezekiel and Ezekiel, by the time Ezekiel comes along, the Jews are in bondage in captivity in Babylon and throughout the empire and the prophets had talked about this coming and God is driving home other points because many of the Jews that were in captivity were not living righteously. So he raises up a man like Ezekiel to address them and God makes this comment about their captivity. He says, I have done nothing without cause that I have done. That is a characteristic of God.

When he acts, when he gets up to do something, it is a great cause. So if he takes something from you, there is a cause behind it. It says that he broke what he took from them. He took the seven loaves and gave thanks and he broke them. And what he takes from us, oftentimes, in the interest of ministry, there is going to be things that break. Ministry causes pain.

There's no way around it. Broken hearts, broken ambitions, broken friendships, broken expectations. What are you going to do with those things? This is what determines the maturity of the saint. How are we going to respond to these letdowns and heartbreaks? Still waiting these men is the grand disillusionment that's coming from an unlikely place, Jerusalem. There they will arrest their master who they never saw fail before. And they will murder him and they will do it in public. And the disciples are going to have to deal with that.

I would not want to go through that. Eleven of them would handle it differently from just one of them. That one, Judas Iscariot, he was already outside of the twelve when it came to his heart. Christ talks about this. In John chapter six, Jesus answered them. And this is about the same time, the time stamp that we're reading our story here in John six. Jesus answered, did I not choose you? The twelve. One of you is a devil.

Man, could you imagine being in that group hearing this from Christ? Later on they're going to ask when it comes to betraying, is it me? I don't want to be that guy. You don't have to be that guy.

Unless that's what you want to do. Again in John twelve, and he said, speaking about Judas, not that he cared for the poor, John writing, but because he was a thief and had the money box. And he used to take what was put in it.

They didn't know this at the time, and they were pretty steamed when they found out. So my point is, Judas was not one of them at this point because he chose not to be. Christ gave him every opportunity to be like-minded with these men. And he bailed out.

But back to the eleven who did not bail out, they would be disillusioned. Judas was too, but for different reasons. Judas wanted Christ to come, set up the kingdom, whatever he was in his head it was wrong. These men, they too thought Christ was going to set up the kingdom and were disillusioned.

And maybe you, maybe you come to Christ, you read your Bible, you see these great promises, this magnificent creator and savior, and then you are confronted with something in life and you're disillusioned by how he treats it. What are you supposed to do? Job, in his book, says it very clearly. Though he slay me, I will trust him.

I trust him. There's nowhere else to go. Peter said, where else are we going to go? You have the words of life.

Nobody is saying what you're saying. Peter did not say, where else are we going to go? You've got the miracles.

You've got the goody bag. He said, what you say is true. That's the deciding factor. And so, being his disciple includes continuing in submission regardless of whatever emotional or physical pain you may incur. Judas again refused these terms, but Job and Joseph embraced it. I mean, Joseph, his principle of faith did not save him. All the things he believed about the God of Abraham didn't seem to benefit him one bit. His own family threw him away, sent him into slavery.

If he died in the salt mines somewhere, tough luck. And then he gets arrested for a crime he didn't commit. And he just kept trusting God.

He didn't like it. He calls the butler when he's freed. The butler is freed and Joseph, stuck in the prison, still says, don't forget me in this place.

When you get back to Pharaoh, don't forget me. Because he wanted out. He just wanted his freedom so he could go home. How long he lived this way, we don't know. But it was years.

We do know that. I draw from that when I have my pity parties and I want my pity parties. A little hat, a little string always pinches the skin, does it not? But anyway, I struggle with how much work I think I put into ministry over the decades and seemingly to me have a disproportionate fruit.

I read about the priests and how they would have the pomegranates on the bottom of their robe which was to symbolize the fruit of ministry on behalf of the people. I struggle with personal shortcomings and lack of spiritual strength. Sometimes I'm just upset with God. And I know I'm not supposed to be which adds to me being upset. And yet, it's one foot in front of another for the king because I'm his man and I'm interested in him and he is interested in me.

And if he takes me and he breaks me, then right over that, done, just like he wanted because I trust him. And when I stand up in heaven and all the dust from this cursed life has settled somewhere else because it won't be in heaven, I will be in heaven, still the king's man. And this is true for every believer that there is.

So Paul says that I may know him, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being conformed to his death. That's what we're talking about. Disillusionment is a death of the flesh. Our view. I did this right, I did that right and this is what I get from it?

Yep. Now what are you going to do? Well, I'm your man. I'm your child.

I'm your manservant, I'm your maidservant, whatever the case may be. And so it says here in verse 6, And he gave to his disciples to set before them. Fellowship in ministry. And they will drink from his cup also. They will suffer in Christ as in the years to come. So we, here we are, seeing a picture of ourselves, he gave to his disciples to set before them. Now he gives us the gospel and all that it includes, he sets it before us. And we're to partake of that gospel. And then we're to give to others. But we can no more save souls than we can create a star. But we can serve the gospel. We can do that and that is more glorious than creating a star. To lead a soul, a star is to burn out and that's the end of it. Well, I mean I'm sure there's some scientific details about stardust.

But overall it perishes with the using but the soul does not. And this lesson was what they needed. And he was saying there's a need here and you can't fill it. I'm going to fill it but I'm going to do it with you.

And I'm not going to do it without you. He could have just threw, you know, hamburgers in everybody's pocket and been done with it. Of course that'd be silly and he didn't do it that way. Ministry would not depend on their ability but their availability. Anybody can hand out bread and fish pretty much, not anybody. I mean there's some exceptions but overall these 12 men could. But it was their availability that made that happen.

And another lesson a lot of Christians don't get. Oh, I just don't have time. Oh, I'm not available. Well, there are things that need to get done. You come into the sanctuaries nice and clean. You come into the church, the bathrooms are clean.

Somebody's doing that. We don't have the bathroom-o-matic. We just, you know, kind of like shove it down the hallway and let it do its thing. We've got real servants that have to go in there with riot gear on and take care of business.

So, it's kind of goofy when you think about it. Christ working through those who made themselves available. Christ ministering to the multitudes through them.

It's the same way today. Christ could use them as his instruments because they made themselves available. King Saul did not.

We talked about this Wednesday night. King Saul was supposed to be the leader as God's people were the instruments in God's hand to execute judgment on the Amalekite people for their wickedness was off the chart and now had to be dealt with. But because of selective obedience, King Saul hindered God's work, which caused problems generations later in the age of Mordecai and Esther.

And so, I don't want to be a King Saul on any level. It says here, and they set them before the multitude, which is the objective, verse 7. They also had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said to set them also before them. You see, it's kind of the way it's written. It's like, why didn't Mark just put that with the fish? I mean the bread.

It's fragmented, it seems. And reading it, you start digging into this. In addition to the bread, taking the bread and blessing it, he does it with the fish also.

I think it is true. The Lord does not do for us what we can do for ourselves. Or else, you know, I would never have to go to a gas station again.

How nice would that be? You just drive by it and you're full. Or better still, you just don't run out of gas.

So, anyway, it's a fact. If there's something that we're supposed to be doing, then we're supposed to be doing it. This was one of the problems with Moses when Moses wouldn't circumcise his son and God was going to kill him.

That's pretty serious. Moses was to be the leader of the covenant people and he was neglecting to do a critical task because Moses didn't care for it. Was it not for his wife, we would not have had the story of Moses. But God knew all of this, of course. So the disciples who could not multiply the fish and the bread, they could serve it to the multitudes, verse 8.

So they ate and were filled and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. I think verse 8 is a summary of what has already taken place. 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 like here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-11 19:42:20 / 2023-11-11 19:52:14 / 10

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