Wednesday after Septuagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 6:30-56 (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. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” 37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?” 38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.
45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered into villages, cities, or in the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.
Miracles are special ways that God displays His gracious power. He is the author of all creation, so the natural order of things is established according to His good will. But occasionally He sees fit to do things outside the normal order to help or teach us.
Christ’s miracles were not just parlor tricks or an idle display of power. He was teaching the abundant and powerful nature of God’s mercy. From humble rations many, many people would be fed and renewed, with copious provision to spare. The greater, most important lesson of that miracle was that through one humble man—Who is also true God—many, many nations would be fed the Bread of Life and renewed in saving faith in Jesus Christ crucified.
Jesus walked on the troubled waters to show that He was God Himself. He used this power to teach the disciples that He has power over all things, and that He comes to bring peace and calm to the troubled souls who are baptized and believe in Him. And those who are healed by simply touching Him are a small illustration of the greater healing that will come in the resurrection. All who are made well by faith, which comes from the Holy Spirit touching them, will be made completely whole in body and spirit for all eternity because the Son of God comes to us that we may take hold of Him in His Word, His flesh and blood in the Supper, and His Baptism which cleanses us.
We pray: Lord God, continue to bless us in the good order of Your benevolent creation, but we especially pray that You also bless us through the miracles of Your grace, manifest among us in the Word and Sacraments of our Savior, Christ Jesus; In His Name. Amen.