The disciples were an unusual bunch of people that followed Jesus. When I read the gospels, I am surprised every time about how they just didn’t get it. They didn’t get how Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy of the Old Testament, that he was the Messiah. They didn’t get how the countless miracles of Jesus were enough to prove that this man was extraordinary…that this man was from God, WAS God (John chapter 1). They didn’t seem to hear Jesus talk about how He was sent from God, His Father, on a mission to save the earth. They didn’t hear the times Jesus tried to explain that He was to be the metaphorical sacrificial lamb – in the flesh!
Mark 8:14-21 shows some of Jesus’ frustration at the disciples, but I also imagine him talking to them in compassionate tones.
“But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.” At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread.
Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’ Don’t you remember anything at all?
When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?” “Twelve,” they said. “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Seven,” they said. 21 “Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.Mark 8:14-21 New Living Translation
Does Jesus sometimes say to us “Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes – can’t you see? You have ears – can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all?” I think He says that to me all the time! In our human state, He calls for us to see Him…even just a little bit and He will make up the difference. Jesus is calling us to see and hear that He existed on this earth, and if He existed, died and rose again, then that has implications for us personally. What are we going to do with that? If we believe that His story is true, and that scripture is valid, then we have to look more closely at the beautiful life of Jesus and attempt to grasp how deep and wide is His love for us (Eph 3:17-18). To see Him clearly, means to see His unconditional love for us sinners (John 3:16), to see his total forgiveness when we ask (Eph 1:7), to be given peace (John 16:33), strength (Psalm 46:1-3) and comfort (2 Cor 1:3). He is so patient with us (2 Peter 3:9), and simply desires all of His creation to know Him, and accept that our way to life, is to accept Jesus’ death. He offers grace (undeserved favour), sufficient grace, (2 Cor 12:9), grace upon grace! (John 1:16). There will never be a time when we turn to God and he says, ‘sorry, my grace, mercy and forgiveness has run out. Never! He will never turn us away when we seek Him (John 6:37).
In the account by Mark, Jesus went on the heal a blind man (Mark 8:22-25). Oh the symbolism to our lives! If we ask Him, He will heal our blindness that often we have no control over, or find it difficult to overcome…He will enable us to “see” again, to “see” the reality of Jesus more clearly. An interesting point about this small story, is that Jesus heals the blind man in 2 stages. Sometimes our prayers are answered in stages, not all at once. Sometimes our blindness is healed in stages as well. We might see and understand some aspect of Jesus, and over time more pictures about Jesus stack upon each other to start and build an epic 3D picture of Him.
When Jesus urges us with “Don’t you remember anything at all?” He is asking us to remember stories from the past, from our lives, others’ lives, times when God has provided, and has been evident in our journey. We are to remember. We are to read the stories in the Bible and remember when God’s power was shown thousands of years ago, and we are to listen to the testimonies of others and share our own stories that might have happened last week. These stories are all used to set in concrete the knowledge of His goodness and grace!
Take a moment today, to look at the story of Jesus. The book of Mark is a short gospel, a good place to start. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+1&version=NLT I love the New Living Translation as it is an easy read. But I also love the Amplified Version as it gives extra definitions – extra colour to the reading. Bring it up on Bible apps (eg Bible Gateway or You Version) and have the audio Bible if that is easier. I challenge you to read the story of Jesus and see how it changes you.
See Jesus, the man who loved people, showed compassion, and taught the way to true life. See Jesus who brought the Kingdom of God to this earth in the flesh. See Jesus who promises power in your life through the Holy Spirit. See Jesus who died a cruel death even if it was only for you. But see Jesus who defeated death and rose again, and is in Heaven now preparing a place for us (John 14:1-3), and can’t wait to make this earth new with no sin (Revelation 21). See Jesus who heals, provides and comforts us right where we are in our story. See Jesus who wants us to see the bigger picture of eternity – with us in it.
See Jesus today, make Him a part of your story. Don’t wait for tomorrow.