Have You Learned Yet?



Scripture:

They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
(Mark 8:7–10 NRSV)

Observation:

This story is just another test for the disciples, and one where they failed miserably. Crowds had been following Jesus and listening to his teaching for three days. Weakened by fasting, prayer and study, the people were in need of nourishment. While Jesus had provided for the people in a similar situation, once again he reached out to the disciples. 

Jesus was showing his compassion, while the disciples were marked by helplessness. How was it that they had once again left Jesus out of their calculations? 

Giving thanks for the food, Jesus modeled a spirit of gratitude. Again, the people were filled and this time there were seven baskets full left over. This number, representing perfection and completion, brought to conclusion this particular portion of his journey and ministry. 

Application:

I’ve been privy to the hand of God at work in this world. During our years in Russia we saw one event after another where things happened that could have only been because of the Lord. Our faith grew and we were spurred on toward greater trust in the Lord. 

I must also confess that there have been seasons where I’ve been just as full of doubt as the disciples. Even when I could remember the way in which God had taken care of a need in the past, suddenly I allowed myself to be filled with worry and fear all over again. The result is that I could find myself right there in the middle of the disciples, and Jesus looking at me asking, “haven’t you learned yet?”

Each moment of life we are learning and pressing on toward the goal of knowing Christ. We are to take the things which we have already experienced and use them as faith-building experiences. These situations help to build the foundation on which our faith continues to grow and develop. 

Daily I desire to draw closer to Christ so that there is no need for him to look in my direction and ask, “Have you learned yet?”

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for the gentle reminders of the ways in which I have experienced your loving kindness and leading. Amen. 

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