This is part 8 of a multi-part series on the book of Mark.

Today, we’re in Mark 6:53-56.

Checking In

In Mark 6:45, Jesus had his disciples get into the boat ahead of him and aim for Bethsaida; but by 6:53, they had crossed over and made land at Gennesaret. When they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and word spread throughout the entire region that he was there (6:54). Social media would have been buzzing with Jesus-sightings and “check ins” by people taking pictures of him.

Everyone was bringing their sick relatives and friends on their beds from miles in all directions to have them healed (6:55). Faith that he could heal was not in short supply, even if all they wanted was to be rid of physical ailments. They followed him around the villages, cities, and countryside of Galilee—laying the sick in the marketplaces and begging him for the sick people to touch the edges of his garment. Everyone who touched Jesus was made well (6:56), but it seems safe to assume that not all of them believed that he was Messiah.

In other words, it’s assuredly the case that many more people physically benefited from his presence than entered his Kingdom. The marketplaces were specifically mentioned as the places in these villages, cities, and countryside of Galilee (6:56). They were bringing people to the marketplaces because they were the parts of town that were made for spacious gatherings of people, for buying and selling, for conversation, for crowds.

I Wanna Be Where the People Are

Jesus spent time in the marketplaces because that’s where the people were. So where are the people at in our villages, cities, and countrysides today? They are in the marketplaces! Work has always been essential to human health, dignity, and society.

If we want to be where the people are, that they might see Jesus in us and touch the fringes of his garment through us, we need to be in the marketplaces, which are now office buildings and co-working spaces. In B4T, we also must allow them, as Jesus did, to benefit from his presence through us even if they don’t choose to enter his Kingdom. Jesus was taking these people on a tour of the Kingdom, but many of them chose to benefit only in the here and now from its attractions.

Greg is the President of OPEN USA. He used his education to work as a tentmaker in the Middle East for 8.5 years seeking to plant a church amongst a least-reached people group. Currently back in the USA with his wife and children, they aim to return to finish what the LORD used them to start.

To learn more about B4T, read Business for Transformation by Patrick Lai.

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