In the Wilderness: A New Wisdom

When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late;” (Mark 6:35, NASB95)

In our vernacular, we would say that Jesus, the disciples, and the crowd were “in the middle of nowhere”. Not only where they in the middle of nowhere but the point of no return was approaching to where the crowds would have to walk home in the dangerous dark. To the disciples, the practical thing, the wise choice, was to release the crowds to their own devices. Allow them to see to their own supper and safety. If we simply take the situation, ignoring what follows for the moment, we would readily agree that the prudent move was to send the crowd on their way. There is nothing wrong with the disciple’s observation or suggestion – except that Jesus had other plans.

Often we ask for wisdom and then seek to apply our own wisdom to our wilderness experience. Our “in the middle of nowhere” could be about anything; any opportunity, any relationship, any problem, and any consequence to our sin or the sin of others. We know that God has the answer, the direction, out of our desolate place. We ask for God’s wisdom but often do not hear very well. One of the points of the event that follows Mark 6:5 is that while there was a practical rightness to the disciple’s solution Jesus had a miraculous solution in mind. I wonder, instead of asking for God’s wisdom if it would not be wiser to ask for His miracle path, His perfect solution, to our wilderness problem.

Dale Heinold
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