Jesus is on his way to save the dying daughter of Jairus when he notices that power has gone out from him. Though people are crowding around him, Jesus wants to know who touched him. The woman who had touched Jesus in the crowd would have been considered ceremonially unclean throughout the 12 years of her bleeding. Anyone who touched her became unclean. Can you imagine spending twelve years of your life with everyone you know avoiding your touch? What do you think is going through her mind when she steps forward as the one who touched Jesus? What according to Jesus, has healed this woman?
In the meantime Jairus’ daughter dies. How does Jesus respond when he is told it is too late? Why do you think Jesus only allowed his inner circle (Peter, James and John) and the girl’s parents to witness the miracle and then swore them to secrecy?
What does this miracle tell us about Jesus’ power over death?
Jesus never used miracles to win over his opponents. He only used them to confirm a faith, no matter how small, that was already present.. Notice that when Jesus healed the woman who touched his robe he says “your faith has healed you” (Mark 5:34), but in this chapter he is unable to perform miracles in his hometown of Nazareth because of their unbelief. Why did the townspeople take offense at Jesus? Why was he so amazed at their lack of faith?
Jesus now takes his disciples education to the next level. Up until this point, the disciples followed Jesus everywhere and observed his miracles. Now he sends them out on their own missions. If you read Acts 13 and 14, you will find that the apostles continued to follow this pattern of ministry long after Jesus was gone.What instructions does Jesus give his disciples when he sends them out?
What two things did the disciples do on their mission? Who are they imitating?
Herod receives reports of the activities of Jesus’ disciples (see Mark 6:7-12). What leads Herod to fearfully conclude that John the Baptist, whom he had beheaded, had come back to life? Why does Herod have reason to be afraid (and feel guilty)?
Miracles drew crowds of people. This was true for Jesus and now it is true of his disciples. Jesus and his disciples withdraw from the crowds so that they can rest. What did Jesus see that inspired him to change his plans?
The disciples, by contrast, are overwhelmed by the sight of the massive crowds and beg Jesus to send the crowds away. What outlandish command does Jesus give his disciples instead? Why? What is he trying to teach them? What does he expect of them?
Think about this: 26,000 children in the world today will die from preventable causes related to their poverty. What is it that you have in your hands? What does Jesus expect and not expect of you?
Having performed the miracle, what does Jesus do? Why? What does this tell us about Jesus’ humanity?
What is the connection between the disciples’ failure to understand the miracle of the loaves (see Mark 6:30-43) and their amazement at Jesus’ ability to walk on water and to still the wind?
Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:15 that God would “raise up a prophet like me from among you”. When this prophet came, Israel was to listen to him. Why? Because this future prophet would be greater than Moses himself. This prophet would be God. The miracle of feeding the five thousand echoed the miracle when God through Moses fed the people with manna, (bread from heaven) and quail. The disciples should have recognized that Jesus was the “prophet like me” that Moses spoke of.
Starting here and continuing through chapter 7 Jesus will challenge the Jewish notion of what it means to be “clean” under the law. For example, to come in close contact or touch a sick person meant, according to Jewish tradition, that a clean person became unclean. What do you notice happens to unclean, sick people when they touch Jesus?
How does Jesus and his disciples challenge the Pharisees’ understanding of what it means to be clean?
It is important to remember that Jesus is not standing against the Old Testament law, but the interpretation of those laws by the Jewish religious leaders. The rigorous regulations related to hand-washing was simply their interpretation of the law, not what the law said itself. Why is this is a problem? Sometimes the traditions themselves can get in the way of obeying the heart of God’s law. That is what Jesus will point out.
Jesus charges the Pharisees of letting go of the commands of God and holding on to the traditions of men. What example of this does Jesus give? What traditions were the Pharisees using to undermine the heart of God’s law (love God, love neighbor)?
Honoring your father and mother went beyond respecting them to providing financial support in their old age. However, the Jewish legal experts found a loophole. If you declared some of your wealth to be “corban” or “devoted to God”, it could be withheld from supporting your parents. The tradition distorted God’s law to the point that it became a means for not loving your parents as yourself.
Jewish tradition argued that what goes into a man from the outside made him unclean. Jesus argued that what comes _____ of a man is what makes him unclean. The elders believed that outward actions was central to being clean. Jesus believed that the origin of a man’s uncleanness was his _________. What sort of things come out of our hearts?
We need more than a behavior modification program. We need a heart transplant.
The crowds following Jesus swelled after the feeding a crowd of 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. The people, believing Jesus to be the Messiah and wanting to make Him king, went on a frantic search for him. They found him on the far side of the lake.
Jesus understands that the crowd that pursue him are motivated by and working for food that spoils. What greater food are the crowds called to work for? What kind of work does God require for the food that endures to eternal life (see verse 29)?
One reason the crowds are so energized is that Jesus reminds them of Moses who led Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. While Israel wandered in the desert, God provided daily bread or “manna” that fell like dew on the ground. They believed it was Moses who gave them “bread from heaven.” Jesus had given them a taste of Moses. They wanted him to do it again but Jesus has a greater bread in mind.
Who or what is the true bread or bread of life that comes down from heaven? What happens to those who come to Jesus? Why doesn’t everyone come? Who is able to come to Jesus? What is Jesus’ mission on earth? Whose will is He carrying out?