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In Focus: The Condition of Christ (Mark 4:35-41)

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If we are truly to bring this part of God's Word into focus, it is important that we really look at Christ in this moment. There is so much to what He does and why He does it that it is of utmost importantance that we not miss it. For if it is truly our heart to be His followers, we should study Him carefully and take from His Word what He intended us to know about Him. Just a mere reading of the Word is a good first step but sadly insufficient for deep understanding about who Christ is and what He wants for our lives.

As we said yesterday, Jesus had spent the day with an overwhelming number of people. As a communicator He would spend an unbelievable amount of energy speaking to them. Remember there were no microphones, no speakers, no megaphones. He had to use his voice to project His message to the ears of the thousands of listeners who arrived to hear Him. Not only did He speak, a great portion of the crowd had arrived to receive more from Jesus, His healing touch. The Scripture simply says in verse 35 and the first part of 36:

35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along...

Look at the time of day that Jesus makes this statement. It was evening. This indicates quite a bit. First it tells us that Jesus had spent the entire day ministering to people. The sun was beginning to set and He had stayed to meet each person's needs. The beginning of verse 36 shows that even as the time came for Him to be finished, there were still crowds gathered around. Secondly, as we find out in Chapter 5, Jesus had work to do across the lake. Even though it was evening and not customary to depart as night approached, He set out to accomplish the task at hand. To say that Jesus would have been tired at this point would be an understatement. However, he pressed on to do the work he was called too.

Verse 36 continues "Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him."

What does it mean "just as He was"? Quite simply, anyone leaving on a journey across the Sea of Galilee at night in a small fishing vessel would have dressed prepared for weather, at least for a steady cool cross-wind. Having preached and worked all day, as Christ was in the boat, He most likely didn't have a cloak or any such preparation. However, when He said "Go", they departed with Him just as He was.

Finally look at the interesting spectacle that unfolds around them as they leave for the other side of the lake. Other boats join them on this journey. As Jesus' following grew, the small boat could never have held all of those traveling with Him. Plus there were many who had witnessed all He had done that day and just had to see more. Little did they know what they would find themselves in the middle of all while following Jesus.

Next time we'll read on into the storm...it's pretty cool.

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