Just prior to the Christmas season, I was blessed to be taught a bible study method by Bonnie Gray, author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. As a thank you, Bonnie offered a live online bible study course for the women that had contributed to her publication platform. I first discovered Bonnie through her blog and always appreciated her kind, encouraging comments regarding my own writing and photography.
Over those few evenings when Bonnie Zoomed with us from her living room in California, I learned she attended bible college, taught bible study methods for many years, and once even led a singles ministry. I also learned how to deeply seek the meanings of scripture and what God is saying to me through His words. And it’s changed me, in a very good way, on how I now approach my bible reading.
During our time together, she had us in Mark 6:45-52 as we observed, interpreted, and applied His word. She guided us in the understanding why it is in the interpretation of God’s word where most of our time is to be spent. She showed us how use the tools within https://www.biblestudytools.com/ and https://biblehub.com/
I was sad to see it end, and hope that one day Bonnie will offer a ‘train the trainer’ course so I can dive deeper into this bible study method and teach others!
But I digress…
What I really want to share is what I began to see when I read the following lines. And how just two lines in scripture rerouted my course, taking me ‘home.’
Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. Mark 6:52
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed in the boat with them, and the wind died down. Mark 6:51
In the passage, it struck me how “immediately” is repeated, and that word ‘made’?–well it shouted out at me. Jesus made his disciples get into the boat, made them leave the party early so to speak. See, Jesus had just done the impossible. He fed 5,000 people with five loafs of bread and two fish. Five thousand people had just witnessed the miracle of Jesus! I can imagine the excitement of the disciples. Now….now…surely there were enough believers to make Jesus their king, right there and then!
But Jesus led the disciples away and made them get into the boat. I wonder if they objected? I can imagine Peter trailing behind Jesus as they walked away from the crowd, muttering to himself, and then standing in the boat as it sailed away from shore, shaking his head in wonderment as Jesus dismissed the crowd on land. The circumstances seemed to be exactly right for what he wanted to achieve, however Jesus was calling him back to the boat to travel to Bethsaida, where he, and the disciples Andrew, Philip and John had called home.
Jesus knew it wasn’t His time yet to be crowned. And He knew His crown was not ever to be a crown made of gold and silver. Instead it was to be a crown of thorns He’d bear as He hung on a cross, fulfilling His Father’s purpose for eternal salvation.
As I studied this scripture, I began to see myself at the boat, defiant and resisting Jesus. “But I know what is best! Yes, I’m tired, hungry, and overwhelmed by the crowd, but I can’t step away from the party. Look what I’ve started! How can I just walk away?”
And Jesus’ gaze is gentle as he tells me, “I’m making you go across the waters, to a place you’ll know as home.”
I can imagine my body swaying slightly as the boat sails me away, over the waves, as I watch Jesus on land take care of the crowd, dismissing them.
Jesus is taking care of the details as I sail where He wants me to go.
So, as January 2019 comes to a close, my ‘goal’ book still stays closed, as I make my way to shore not sure what will come next. And whenever the wind feels against me, and the waves rough underneath me, He’s shown me through His word that I am “to take courage”, and “don’t be afraid.”
All I need to do is let Him in, let Him teach me, and still me with His presence.
What has God’s word taught you lately?
Linking up today with Soaring With Him Ministries