Title: When we are thick headed

Focus: Jesus is the Shepherd who truly feeds us, leads us, and protects us even when we don’t understand him.

Function: To serve as a warning to believers that since we don’t understand everything, we ought to be humble and follow Jesus

Text: Mark 6:32-55

1.  Don't you hat it when you are thick headed?
	a.  You are not alone
	b.  It seems that many who had a run in with Jesus were also thick headed
2.  It seems that there were so many who just didn’t get it about Jesus
	a.  Such as the Scribes and the Pharisees
	b.  However, the demons understood who he was
3.  Context:  Just had finished the mission, and now were trying to rest
4.  They could not get away (Had become celebrities)
5.  They were supposed to have “insight” from the loaves (v.52)
	a.  Jesus is powerful, good, he cares?
	b.  Jesus is God?  In a very subtle way
		- Have to have knowledge of O.T. to appreciate it
6.  How is Jesus portrayed as God in these passages?

I.  Jesus is the Shepherd that Feeds his Sheep (Mk 6:32-44)
	A.  He had compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd
		1.  This statement a challenge on Israel’s leadership
		2.  Where were the shepherds???
	B.  Background of this phrase in the Hebrew scriptures
		1.  Num 27:15-20 - Joshua to shepherd over his people
		2.  2 Sam 5:2 - David to Shepherd the people
		3.  Shepherd used of kings, & leaders in general - Isa 44:28 Cyrus
		4.  (Ezek 34:1-10) - Condemnation of Israel’s Shepherds
	C.  What does Jesus do in respons to sheep without a shepherd?
		1.  What insight are we to get from all of this?
		2.  Reflect:
			a.  Deserted place - Like Israel’s wilderness
			b.  Bread - Like manna (physical needs)
			c.  Five loaves - 5 books of Torah (spiritual needs)
			d.  Dt. 8 - Man not live by bread alone but by every word
		3.  Passage that reflects what is happening here
			a.  (Ezek 37:1-10) - Came to life by the word of the Lord
			b.  (Ezek 37:24-28) -Ultimate fulfillment in Jesus
	D.  According to all this, Jesus is the ultimate shepherd
		1.  In Hebrew scriptures, it is Yahweh - Psalm 23
		2.  God prophesied he would set up a shepherd over them
		3.  Jesus is that shepherd - Jn 10

II.  Jesus is the Shepherd that protects his Sheep (Mk 6:45-52)
	A.  Even this incident has allusions back to the Old Testament
	B.  How do we see that Jesus is protector?
		1.  From the loaves - Supposed to see Jesus as Shepherd
			a.  Isa 43:2 - When pass through waters, I will be with you
			b.  Jesus is shepherd guiding and protecting in wilderness
		2.  He was going to pass them by?
			a.  Many explanations, but may be allusion to epiphanies
			b.  Ex 33:19ff - God’s glory “passed by” Moses in the cleft
			c.  1 Kng 19:11-12 - God passing by Elijah (still voice)
			d.  Gen 32:31 (LXX) Jacob passed by face of God wrestling
			e.  Amos 7:8 - I will pass them by no longer
		3.  Jesus said literally,  Do not fear, “I am”
			a.  Back to Exodus 3, God says “I am” 
			b.  Jesus in John 8 - Unless you believe I am, will die in sin
			c.  Before Abraham was, I am
		4.  Jesus walked on a stormy sea, and calmed it without a word
	C.  This is 2nd time on sea (4:41) and they still didn’t get it
		1.  ILL:  If you training person for job, and never get it?
		2.  What do you do if he just doesn’t get it?
		3.  “I don’t think you are cut out for this job.”
		4.  Is that what Jesus did?  No.
	D.  In spite of this, Jesus still leads them on, thick headed & all

III.  Jesus is the Shepherd that Loves his sheep
	A.  See this both in his dealing with disciples and the people
	B.  He had compassion on the people
		1.  He did not fight off the mob as the pressed in on him
		2.  Unlike celebrities, it was not cute fans pressing in on him
		3.  It was sick, wounded, sinners and the fringes of society
	C.  He continued to work with disciples even though hard hearted
		1.  Hard heart bring to mind Pharaoh
		2.  Hard hearted usually a lost cause? - Isa 6
		3.  But Jesus never gave up on them
	D.  Jesus will never give up on you as long as you live

1.  This serves as a warning to all believers
	a.  Can follow Jesus around for some time and still not understand
	b.  Disciples supposed to “feed” the sheep through preaching
	c.  How can they do this when they don’t understand Jesus?
	d.  Should move us to humility & honesty about or limitations
2.  This serves as a reminder of our limitations
	a.  They not able to feed 5,000 of their own power
	b.  But meager food became more than enough in his hands
	c.  But they didn’t get it
	d.  Often missed the significance of Jesus miracles and teaching
3.  This serves as a comfort to all believers - They still followed
	a.  Though they were limited, Jesus still cared for them
	b.  Jesus still leads them
4.  They had faith - Faith is trust, but not necessarily understanding
	a.  Sometimes we struggle due to our lack of understanding
	b.  God causes growth through our struggle
	c.  Eventually, their tiny faith led them to move mountains
5.  Look around this room - Look at all the messages concerning faith
6.  Invitation:  Do you have faith?