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The 60 | Mission Unexpected, Part 2 | Mark 6:30-44


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon.  This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week

Our Mission Is Continual, NOT Seasonal  (v:30-33)

“Apostles” is a term used to describe the Function of the 12, not their Position.  Their function could also be translated, “missionaries” (sent ones). 

Jesus is continually on mission, and He calls us to be continually on mission with Him as He is continually on mission through us.  Just as Jesus continually comes to us, we are continually coming to them, in the name of Jesus.

The one clear characteristic of Mark’s Gospel is that there is never a break in the action.  The mission is continual.

The greater the demands of ministry they engage in, the greater need they have to be alone with Jesus.

Our call to feed others cannot come before our call to be fed by Jesus.

Because our mission is continual and not seasonal, the tendency can be to lose our compassion in the process.

Our Mission Is Compassionate, NOT Condemning, Condescending or Contemptuous  (v:34-36)

Many of them are just coming for the miracles.  Many of them are just coming for the free meal (Jn.6).  Jesus isn’t concerned why they are there.  He’s concerned that they are there.

Compassion (splangnizesthai):  to be inwardly moved so as to have to DO something about it.  This word is used only of Jesus in the NT, and characters in parables that resemble Jesus.  The only way you can get the compassion of Jesus is to be constantly close to Jesus.

Although this term “compassion” elicits images of Jesus helping weak sheep, a pastoral connotation is not the best connotation here.  The best connotation is to shepherd them like Moses or Joshua – to LEAD them by giving them a PURPOSE and sense of DIRECTION through INSTRUCTION.

This compassion compels Jesus to lead them by first TEACHING them, then FEEDING them.  There is BOTH as Spiritual Feeding and a Physical Feeding.

This teaching and feeding was not planned from afar, but was perceived by Jesus as He was close to the people.  Are you close enough to perceive the needs of the people around you?

Zealous Compassion:  rural Galilee was a stronghold for the Zealot movement.  Jesus is here raising up a “new” kind of zealot movement – a movement based on FEEDING, not FIGHTING.  Jesus wants a new zealot movement of compassionate Christians who don’t love anything more than teaching and serving people toward and like Jesus.

The Disciples have a different attitude and outlook.  They don’t yet have the compassion of Jesus, so they aren’t responding like Jesus.

  • Condemning:  to judge or blame them
  • Condescending:  considering yourself higher or better than them
  • Contemptuous:  expressing a lack of respect or dislike for them

The more compassion we begin to exhibit, the more people we want to help and serve,…….and the tendency can be to get overwhelmed by the size of the problem, the scope of the task.

Our Mission Is Immense, NOT Impossible  (v:35-44)

Jesus calls the 12 to be good shepherds, like Him, to feed and lead the people

The disciples first respond:

  • Cynically (Philip)
  • Skeptically (Andrew)
  • Logically…….INSTEAD of Faithfully.  Don’t we tend to do the same?

Jesus brings them to a place where everything depends on Him.  BUT, the problem will not be resolved with something they don’t yet have, but something they do have, only blessed by Jesus.

You give them something of which you already have, and trust Jesus to multiply it

The miracle Jesus does requires human resources, as inadequate as they are, and the Disciples.  Jesus works in heavenly ways through earthly people and means.  The miracles don’t happen apart from the Disciples, but through them.  It DEPENDS on Jesus.  It’s DONE through Us.

Diving In

Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  • Do you see yourself as a "sent one" (apostle) of God to the people around you?  If not, why not?  What impact has the way you see yourself in this regard impacted your relationship with the people around you already?  How do you see this in Jesus?
  • Do you sense your need for Jesus increasing as you see the demands on your life increasing?  How are you giving Jesus your best in the midst of all the rest?  What does this look like practically for you?
  • Who are the people that are hardest for you to act compassionately toward?  What do you sense is at the root of your lack of compassion for them?  How might your understanding of the compassion Jesus has had on you change the way you see them?
  • What opportunities do you have to shepherd non-believers?  What might this look like in light of the definition of 'compassion' above.  How do you see this in Jesus?
  • What in front of you seems impossible today?  What encouragement does the account of the fish and the loaves give you today in the midst of it?  What might Jesus be calling you to lay before Him, trusting Him to multiply it?

Deep End

The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  • After this, take 5-10 minutes to read through and meditate on Mark 6:34.  Read it over a number of times, asking the Holy Spirit to allow the weight of Jesus' disposition to rest on you.
  • Next, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anyone you've been approaching with a condemning attitude.  Has it led to a condescending attitude?  Even a contemptuous attitude?  Who are the first faces you see?
  • After that, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the mercy and compassion Jesus has shown you, from the first day until now.  Allow the mercy and compassion of Jesus toward you to touch the way you see the faces in front of you.
  • Last, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what it would look like practically for you to extend the intentional and instructive compassion of Jesus to one of the faces you see.
  • End your time by thanking Jesus for the compassion Jesus has extended you, and praying He would do the same for one of the faces that His Spirit has brought to mind.


Our digest section is all about helping you to memorize and meditate on God's Word so you'll be able to better digest it.  Take some time to commit these short verses to memory this week: 

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  And he began to teach them many things. - Mark 6:34

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.


For The Elders

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