Monday, January 04, 2010

They considered not the miracle of the loaves for their hearts were hardened

So, during Bible study this morning hubby laughed at the disciples because the disciples still didn't get it about the miracle of the loaves. In Mark 8 Jesus lost his patience with the disciples and said, "How is it that you don't understand?" So -- being a pain-- I said to hubby, "So, do you understand?"
Hubby replied, "Well, he's mad at them because they didn't bring any bread."

I said, "No, that's not it. That's ruled out by Jesus. What else?"
"That they don't understand God's care for them?"
"Yes. And what else?"
"That they don't understand the power God has given them?"
"AMEN! And that human perception of impossibilities is not God's perception of impossibilities? With God all is possible! To God! To the sons of God! To those who have been given authority and power!"

The books of the Bible were written for many reasons. One of the chief reasons is: to remove our hardness of heart. It aims to show us what our minds cannot possibly conceive: God's love, the power of invisible faith over the visible world, the loss of man's dominion over the world and the regaining of that power and authority again through Jesus Christ, the perfect man, who won the world back from the dominion of Satan and is now worthy to open the seven seals and take back the earth.

So... about our hardened hearts: Tbe first story of the multiplication of the loaves, the second story of the multiplication of the loaves, the calming of the waves, all culminate finally in the question "Why do you not understand?" question.

Jesus spent three years teaching his disciples how to command healing, raise the dead, multiply loaves. Several times in the Scripture he had to shout at them and ask them why they were so dang dense! When Jesus' disciples attempted to heal a boy, they couldn't. This annoyed Jesus no end. (Okay, so the scribes who were arguing with the disciples -- probably about whether healing was for today because of the "days-of-miracles-are-past" theology --and so the disciples would definitely get one caught up in unbelief that they couldn't have faith. But still, by that time they should've had faith.) Nowadays, a minister wouldn't say to his students: "You stupid faithless people! How come you couldn't cast the spirit out!" But Jesus expected his students to know more of God -- to DO more of God's work. Stilling the storm should've been easy work. Multiplying the loaves should've been child's play. But the disciples had hardened hearts. They didn't understand God's power. They didn't understand not to lean to their human understanding.

Nowadays, these miracles are done in many places. Missionaries who take care of orphanages are always talking about how they had only a can of beans or a bag of rice and fed 300 poor orphaned children miraculously for a month on that. There are many modern stories about people calming storms or healing the sick. Let's say the rapture is post-tribulation -- how will we survive during the tribulation if we our hearts are hardened? Heck, how will we endure the recession if we don't understand to look to Jesus and God-in-us, the hope of glory? We have a great treasure in vessels of clay.

30And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

31And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

32And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

33And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

34And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

35And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:

36Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

37He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

38He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

39And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

40And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

41And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

42And they did all eat, and were filled.

43And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

44And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

45And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

46And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

47And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

48And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

50For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

51And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

52For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Mark 6: 30-53

1In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

2I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

3And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

4And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

5And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

6And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

7And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

8So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

9And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

11And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

12And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

13And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

14Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.

15And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

16And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

19When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.

20And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

Mark 8:1-21

17And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

18And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

19He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

Mark 9: 17-19

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