What Will it Take for You to “Get It?”
Mark 8:14 ¶ Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Mark 8:15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.”
Mark 8:16 They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.”
Mark 8:17 And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
Mark 8:18 Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?
Mark 8:19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.”
Mark 8:20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.”
Mark 8:21 Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
Another story about bread. Can’t you just imagine the frustration in Jesus’ voice. They’ve had another long day of ministry, part of which included Jesus feeding 4000 people. There had been seven basketfuls of bread left over — the perfect number! It had revealed the perfection or completion of the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God…and now they’re in a boat arguing over the fact that they had only brought one loaf of bread with them.
The Pharisees and Herod could not see that Jesus was the Messiah and this negative attitude and spirit was contagious. Jesus wanted them to be careful not to be infected with a spirit of unbelief — and yet, they thought he was talking about literal bread from the Pharisees and Herod. Why would they ever need to go to them for bread, if Jesus were the bread of life — if Jesus were able to provide manna from heaven?
How soon they forgot! They needed a gentle reminder about what Jesus had already done for them. Look, listen and remember! Not only did Jesus feed the five thousand, but he provided an extra basketful of broken pieces for every disciple. Then, he broke seven loaves and fed four thousand — with seven basketfuls left-over. What would it take for them to “get it?”
Remember the old cellular phone commercial with the man traveling the world and asking, “Can you hear me now?” I believe Jesus is asking the disciples, “Do you get it now?” While the cellular man walked the world looking for remote locations where he could prove the signal worked, Jesus also traveled the known world doing miracle after miracle proving he was the Son of God and literally asking those right in front of him, “Do you get it now?” How many times would it take? How many more miracles would he need to show them? How many more times would he have to tell them?
Now, let’s place ourselves in that same boat. How many times does the Lord have to reveal himself to us for us to really “get it?” He reminds us that he took us through those really difficult days — he sustained us, he fed us and he nourished us.
But we become frustrated with new and different issues! We become distracted by the “yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” We become drawn to being religious and the tug of the secular world. They place doubts in our minds regarding the ability of Christ to sustain us. Then, he looks at us and reminds us to open our eyes, listen with our ears and remember! Jesus has been with us all the time. Every time that we needed him to supply our needs, he did! Not only did he provide enough for us for the moment, he gave us sustaining grace to continue on the journey. Will he not do the same today?
Yes, of course he will — if only we “get it!” Instead of looking for human solutions to the problems that confront us, we must look to Jesus, the Son of God. The sustainer and provider of all things is asking us to simply put our trust in him. He has cared for us before, he will care for us again. Now, may we continue on our journey, never whining or complaining about our one loaf of bread, but instead, putting our trust in the One who provides the bread. That’s the only way we will ever “get it!”
Lord, thank you for your patience as you allow us to “get it.” Amen.