“On Your Mark”
Right Thinking (Chapter 6 Verses 45-56)
The question why they are so amazed (vv51-52) is in itself amazing, because it is not the first time (Mark 4.41). But we see why, the root of the sin is revealed (v52). The whole trouble lay in their hearts. Because they could not, did not or would not understand, their hearts, the very centre, source of their spiritual lives (Proverbs 4.23), were hardened. Not the obduracy of the Pharisees and Scribes, but none the less hardness of heart. Yes, it can happen to a Christian, be careful, guard your heart. They should have been at the stage of expecting Jesus to act and behave as the Son of God which he himself claimed and revealed himself to be. And of course they themselves had confessed and experienced him to be so (Matthew 16.16). It is out of the heart that proceeds every evil and iniquity (Matthew 5.19), Jesus warns. Even the sudden flash of anger is, as a thought, incubated in the heart before erupting as emotion. Our deepest thinking is vitally important. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 24.7). The rich fool (Luke 12.16-21), thought (v17) and ended up taking a course of action that cost him his soul. If God is ours, we ought to be able to control the intellectual capabilities we have, in order to think about good and holy things. Else Paul would not tell us to do so (Philippians 4.8). The whole of our inner, spiritual life depends upon it.
They crossed over and the crowds were there again with all their needs (vv53-56). The people as soon as they saw Jesus, became immensely excited, and coming in faith were ministered to in a variety of ways. We have been speaking about the heart, and now these people with their enthusiasm leave us with an interesting thought to finish the chapter. Does our Christian experience and worship belong to the ice age? With our focus upon objective Bible truth, have we perhaps lost some of our old enthusiasm, and excitement about the Lord Jesus? If in our Church there is not a joy, an enjoyment of worship, people will start to look for it in other things. To fleshly things, to entertainment, to gospel boogie-nights, to amusements. We do have a right to be joyful in Jesus, we have the new wine of the gospel, the Spirit of God within us, who satisfies us immensely, or should do. We need to dig deep at the wells of salvation, the water of life is there, and it is ours. Let us once and for all, away with the ice-age gospel, of coldness and stiffness, (we must not mistake these for reverence), let us warm our hearts again with the Spirit’s fire and offer to our Redeemer a worship which is white-hot with gospel love.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)