Running With Mark 46



Day Forty-Six – February 12, 2020  



Mark 6:45-52 New Revised Standard Version

This familiar story comes immediately after the feeding of the 5000.  “Immediately” (there’s that familiar word in Mark again), they get in a boat and head across the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida.  Bethsaida was a fishing village.  It literally means “House of Fishing” in Hebrew. 


After they arrived in Bethsaida, Jesus went up on the mountain to pray.  Jesus continues to model, for the disciples and for us, the need for prayer. While Jesus is praying, the disciples head back out on the Sea of Galilee to do some fishing. 


Jesus spent much time in Bethsaida.  Peter, Andrew and Philip were all from Bethsaida.  Even though he performed many miracles there, the village was cursed for their lack of faith. (Mark 6:51-53, Mark 8:1-26, Luke 10:13-15)

A storm popped up and the disciples were straining against the wind and the waves.  Suddenly Jesus appears to them, walking across the water.  Did you notice this sentence? He intended to pass them by. (Mark 6:48).  Why do you think he intended to walk past them? 


The disciples see him and think he is a ghost.  They are terrified.  Jesus tells them not to be afraid and then climbs into the boat with them.  The wind stopped.

“And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves,

but their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:51-52


Can you imagine being one of the disciples?  You see Jesus performing miracles, feeding crowds, calming the sea, even walking on water.  Mark says that they did not understand about the loaves and now their hearts were hardened.  For the remainder of Mark, this theme of the people not understanding, and having hardened hearts, will be repeated over and over again. 


  • What kind of storms (thunderstorms, personal storms, spiritual storms, health storms) cause you to panic?
  • Why do you think the disciples “did not understand the loaves”?
  • In the midst of your storm, can you hear Jesus saying, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mark 6:50) If you can’t hear him, why do you think that is?
  • It is one thing to not understand Jesus’, he was after all performing miracles, and turning the social conventions upside down. We get why this was confusing.  But why do you think their hearts were hardened?
  • How can you tell when your heart is becoming hardened against someone? I think of people with whom we have strong disagreement during this political season.  It is very easy for my heart to become hardened against them.  I need to guard against this.

Has your heart ever been hardened toward God? 

Read these words of hope from Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.



Change My Heart O God

Whole Heart (Hold Me Now) by Hillsong



Prayer Focus:

Pray to have a soft and pliable heart that God will touch.


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins