Morning Bible Study
Have Manuel share
about Mexico (10 slides)
As some of you were
aware, last Wednesday, October 21, 2015 was the day that Marty McFly went Back
to the Future…
Luke was a doctor
and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.
He wrote this book
while Paul was in prison.
In writing his
book, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well
as extensive eyewitness accounts.
Jesus’ ministry has
begun, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been
teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
Last week we read
about Jesus sending the twelve disciples off on their first mission trip
He gave them His
power and authority, along with some travel tips. Now they’re back…
:10 And the
apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took
them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city
:10 told Him all
that they had done
told – diegeomai (“through” + “lead”) – to lead or carry a narration
through to the end; set forth, recount
I don’t know if the
apostles were good story tellers or not, but I can almost see them sitting
around a campfire like this …
Video: Star Wars –
There are times
when we need to keep our stories to ourselves. There are times when the only
reason we are telling stories is to make others feel like we are something
You can tell this
is the case when we are the hero of all of our own stories.
But there can also
be great value of sharing with each other what God has been doing.
It’s like hearing
Manual talk about what is happening down in Mexico.
(Matthew 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father in heaven.
This ought to be a part of what “fellowship” means to us.
Each of us should have stories to tell of what God has
It’s about bringing glory to God, not us.
:10 belonging to
the city called Bethsaida
Bethsaida – “house of fish”
It’s a fishing
For years it was
unknown where Bethsaida was – even today Wikipedia still doesn’t have all the
facts straight. In the 1990’s they began to excavate the site of Tel-Geshur and
discovered Bethsaida sitting on top of ancient Geshur.
Absalom’s mother was from Geshur.
This was the original
hometown of Peter, Andrew, and Philip.
eventually move to Capernaum, where his mother-in-law lived.
It might seem
strange that a fishing town named “house of fish” would be two miles from the
Sea of Galilee, but in Jesus’ day the lake level was higher, and there was a
canal that linked Bethsaida with Galilee. The canal was destroyed in an
earthquake and the city was eventually abandoned by 65 AD.
Even though we are
walking through the ruins of the city, look off in the distance and you can see
the kind of fields that surrounded the city.
:10 went aside
privately into a deserted place
There are times
when we need to learn to slow down. I think I had three or four people last
week tell me I needed to slow down.
“retreat” happened for several reasons.
Mark is talking
about the same story …
(Mark 6:30–31 NKJV) —30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both
what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to
a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and
they did not even have time to eat.
Jesus could sense that the disciples needed a break.
Right after Jesus
sent the disciples out, He had gotten news that Herod had beheaded Jesus’
cousin John the Baptist (Mat. 14:10)
How did Jesus
respond to this news?
14:13 NKJV) When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a
deserted place by Himself…
Jesus felt His own need to be alone and grieve.
I think that some
of us need to learn the lesson of slowing down and resting every once in a
Banker and Fisherman
investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a
small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several
large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his
fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, only a
little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch
more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate
needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your
time?” The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my
children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening
where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend
more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat, with the proceeds
from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a
fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would
sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would
control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this
small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually
NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.” The Mexican fisherman asked,
“But, how long will this all take?” To which the American replied, “15-20
years.” “But what then?” The American laughed and said that’s the best part.
“When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock
to then public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
The American said,
“Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would
sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife,
stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your
guitar with your amigos.”
“Jesus knows we
must come apart and rest awhile, or else we may just plain come apart.”
:11 But when the
multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to
them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.
:11 when the
multitudes knew it, they followed Him
Even though Jesus
and the disciples had a need to get away and rest, the people didn’t give them
that opportunity. They followed Jesus and the disciples out to their retreat
There may be times
when we have to postpone that time of rest.
:11 spoke to
them about the kingdom of God
I believe Jesus may
have repeated some of the same messages in different places. We have different
versions of the Sermon on the Mount given in more than one location.
Mark records one of
Jesus’ sermons while He was teaching once at another spot by the Sea of
with Jesus out in the fields around Bethsaida while He speaks…
(Mark 4:26–29 NKJV) —26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed
on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should
sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the
blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain
ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The disciples had
been scattering seed as they’ve told people about Jesus on their trip.
It takes time for a
seed we sow to sprout and take root. But there will be a time when the seed is
ready for the harvest.
For some of you,
the seed has been planted in your heart.
You’ve heard that we all have a problem that keeps us from
knowing God – our sin.
And perhaps you’ve heard that Jesus came to do something
about that problem. He died to pay for our sin.
It is our prayer that soon the seed will take root in your
heart and you will realize you need to give your life to Jesus.
didn’t just quote Scripture when He taught. He often taught with parables,
stories, illustrations, taking lessons from nature around them.
:11 and healed
those who had need of healing
Jesus not only
taught the people about God, He ministered to their needs.
:12 When the day
began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away,
that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get
provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
:12 Send the
disciples are thinking practically.
Who’s going to feed
all these people?
There are no fast
food places anywhere near them.
And besides, they
never got their break!
:13 But He said to
them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said, “We have no more than
five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.”
:13 You give
them something to eat
The disciples just
want Jesus to send all the people away.
But Jesus asks them
to take responsibility.
:13 five loaves
and two fish
In case you are
thinking that these practically minded disciples had actually planned ahead and
had packed enough food for themselves and their retreat with Jesus, think
They had actually
John recorded the
details. One of the other local Bethsaida boys, Andrew, was the one who came up
with the loaves and fish, but it wasn’t his bread and fish…
(John 6:8–9 NKJV) —8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who
has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
I wonder if it was
a local kid from Bethsaida that Andrew might have known?
The bread and fish
were going to come from a little boy who was willing to share his lunch with
Philip, who was
also from Bethsaida (and knew how much things cost at the local Albertsons),
had gone as far as calculating how much it would cost to feed this huge group.
(John 6:7 NKJV) Philip
answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them,
that every one of them may have a little.”
Sometimes we think
we know more than Jesus does. It’s our own limited knowledge that can keep us
from trusting Jesus to do His thing.
:14 For there were
about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in
groups of fifty.”
It has been
suggested that since only the men were counted, that there might have been at
least ten thousand people there when you include women and children.
:15 And they did so,
and made them all sit down.
:16 Then He took
the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and
broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the
:16 gave them
to the disciples to set before the multitude
to set before
– paratithemi – to place beside or near or
set before; food, i.e. food placed on a table; to set before (one) in teaching
I often look at
this as a picture of how I need to approach my teaching. I often feel as if I
don’t have much to offer, let alone to so many people.
This clip is from
the same story, the Gospel of John, chapter 6 –
:17 So they all ate
and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by
:17 So they all
ate and were filled
They didn’t just
take little bites. Their hunger was satisfied.
They got fattened
up on that meal.
baskets of the leftover fragments
leftover – perisseuo – to exceed a fixed number of measure; to exist or be at
hand in abundance
This is a word that
is often translated “abundance”.
There wasn’t just a
few crumbs leftover, but the baskets were overflowing.
Twelve baskets, one
for each of the disciples.
The disciples had
come with nothing, had nothing to give, but obeyed the Lord and ended up with
:13 You give
them something to eat
When I got nuthin’
There are times
when we need to get away and recharge.
Remember that Jesus
wasn’t just tired, but He was also grieving the loss of His cousin John.
Yet sometimes it
just isn’t possible to get away when we want to.
Jesus responded to
this huge multitude of people by welcoming them, teaching and healing them, and
then feeding them.
What do we do when
we feel we have nothing left to give and we can’t go home?
1. God’s leading
(Luke 9:13 NKJV) But He
said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
It has to be Jesus
leading you if this is going to have any value.
isn’t leading you to do anything, and He would rather that you indeed get away
Sometimes we are
motivated more by our own sense of guilt than we are by Jesus.
Yet when Jesus
prompts you, do what He says.
2. What do you have?
(Luke 9:13 NKJV) …And
they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy
food for all these people.”
I tend to respond
with, “I got nothin’”.
But the truth is, if you dig down deep, you have more than
It might not be much, but Jesus doesn’t need much when
He’s at work.
3. Get ready
(Luke 9:14 NKJV) Then
He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”
Make them sit down – kataklino – in the NT in reference to eating, to make to recline;
to recline (at a table)
groups – klisia
– anything to recline on; a company reclining; a row or party of persons
reclining at meal
The language that Jesus is using is specific language that
speaks of getting ready for a meal.
When you open your
Bible tomorrow morning to do your daily Bible reading, are you ready to
When you sense that
God wants you to reach out to someone, even though you are running on empty,
are YOU ready to receive from Jesus?
4. Give it to Jesus
(Luke 9:16 NKJV) Then
He took the five loaves and the two fish…
What few loaves and
fish you have, give it to Jesus.
happens if it isn’t given to Jesus.
Does Jesus have
access to all have, even if it’s just a little?
If you are going to
teach a Sunday School class to toddlers, have you given your lesson to Jesus
before giving it to your children?
5. Blessing and breaking
(Luke 9:16 NKJV) …and
looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to
the disciples to set before the multitude.
Jesus can take what
little I have to offer to Him and bless it.
Sometimes He needs
to break what has been offered to Him.
Don’t be surprised when part of the blessing that the
people you minister to comes from you being broken.
(Luke 9:17 NKJV) So
they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were
taken up by them.
It wasn’t just the
people that ate and were filled.
“All” implies the disciples ate as well.
I’ve gone on
hospital calls thinking that I’ve got nothing to tell this person, and then
find out that I got ministered to more than they did.
Even when you feel
you have nothing to give, it’s possible there’s something you still might be
able to do.
There is a
remarkable story of a B-17 bomber that flew a bombing mission over Germany in
the latter days of World War II. The plane was hit several times by shells and flak,
with some of the hits directly in the fuel tank. Miraculously, the bomber did
not explode. When it landed, eleven unexploded twenty-millimeter shells were
taken out of the fuel tank! The shells were dismantled, and to the amazement of
everyone, all were empty of explosives. Inside of one shell was a note written
in Czech. Translated, it read, “This is all we can do for you now.” A member of
the Czech underground, working in a German munitions factory, had omitted the
explosives in at least eleven of the twenty-millimeter shells on his assembly
That worker must
have wondered often if the quiet work he was doing to subvert the Nazi war
effort was going to make any difference whatsoever to the outcome of the war.
- Ben Patterson, The Grand Essentials
Even when you’ve
got “nuthin’”, your little can do a lot.