Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The Solution is Right In Front of You
Mark 6:49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out;
Mark 6:50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Mark 6:51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,
Mark 6:52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
The key phrase to the scripture today is “they did not understand about the loaves.” Somehow the disciples were unable to connect the dots between Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 and his ability to calm storms, or walk on water. The scripture goes on to say, “but their hearts were hardened.” Wesley says “they were not reprobates.” In other words, they weren’t sinners. These were the followers of Jesus Christ who had been with him day in and day out and were watching what he was doing and experiencing his miracles, and yet, they didn’t get it! They didn’t see that Jesus was the solution to their problems and that he was right there in front of them.
The problem with Jesus was that they seemed to have compartmentalized him, or at least his miracles. They saw them as isolated incidents and didn’t recognize that the pieces fit together into a much larger picture. Hence the comment, “they did not understand about the loaves.” Why were the loaves so important in understanding who Jesus was? Because the loaves represented much more than simply feeding a crowd one day, but instead pointed to Jesus being the Messiah. When the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years they were fed on a daily basis by the manna which came from heaven. This bread of heaven supplied their needs every single day and was a direct sign of the presence of God, and the ability of God to supply our daily needs. What was it that Jesus taught his disciples to pray? “Give us this day our daily bread.” As Jesus was able to supply the daily bread to 5000 people it was a prophetic sign that he was connected to the manna from heaven. The same God who could call down manna was still in the business of providing daily bread. Jesus was God! And Jesus would go on to become broken bread and poured out wine for all of us on the cross. Jesus was the Messiah and had all power and authority of God. Yes, he could supply daily bread, and he could calm the seas. The solution to the disciples’ problems was right in front of them — if only they could really see.
Good people, followers of Jesus Christ, but unable to see beyond the everyday and into the eyes of the Son of God and who he really is! Could that possibly describe you and me these days? For the disciples each and every day was filled with its challenges. They saw Jesus as a person who was, from time to time, able to intervene in those circumstances, but they didn’t see him for who he really was. They “did not understand about the loaves.”
Do we really understand about the loaves? If we did, we would have faith to trust God to work out all the circumstances of life. We would have faith to believe that Jesus can truly supply our daily bread. Remember, it wasn’t the weekly, or the monthly, or the yearly bread. It was the daily bread. Too often we want to see the big picture and know what is going to happen down the road when we are to simply have faith and trust that the Lord will provide when we need provision. Not too early, not too late, but right on time!
Do we also understand that the storms will come up and we will be riding some rough waves — but in the midst of those, Jesus can calm the storm? The disciples couldn’t put the connection together between the daily bread and the rough days. Every act of Jesus Christ, intervening in our lives, is a sweet reminder of his love for us and his ability to walk on the water, coming to us in the midst of our storms. Jesus left the safety of the shore and walked on the water coming to the disciples while they were in the midst of their struggles. We don’t have to go to him, he will come to us — but we have to have the faith to see the connection between the bread and Jesus.
Jesus, the one who has become for us manna from heaven, is the very solution to what ails us today. He is God. We need to look to him, have faith in him, and trust him to take us through life for he is much more than a good man who could do miracles, he is the all-powerful one who sustains. That’s the solution we need today. The sustaining power of our holy God who can bring us bread, or calm the storm. Do you understand about the loves?
Lord, thank you for being patient with us and wanting us to understand. Amen.