Do you see clearly?
Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Something is right in front of us, and we miss it.
What our gospel writer Mark recounts next really defies logic. The twelve disciples knew Jesus better than anyone—then or since. They saw Jesus interact with people, they saw him teach in the synagogue and outdoors to large crowds. The disciples saw Jesus heal, restore sight to the blind, calm stormy seas and even raise someone from the dead. They were there with a hungry multitude—5000 men alone, plus women and children—yet Jesus told them to sit the people down and feed them. ‘But Lord…that is impossible’. Of course, it was… except for, this was Jesus. Anytime there is ‘but Jesus’, the scenario is blown wide open, and the possibilities are infinite.
Yessirree, the Twelve watched as five loaves and two fish just kept going and going until it fed everyone on the hillside, and they had leftovers—a basketful for each of the twelve. Nothing logical about a miracle. In Mark 8, it is in one of the hotter months, no grass was to be had as it was the last time; those who came to hear Jesus came from all over to the remote area and stayed for three days. They were hungry and Jesus was moved with compassion for them. Note: whenever the gospels mention Jesus’ compassion, it is usually followed up with an act of love and generosity on his part.
And the disciples? Well, they suffered from short-term memory, wondering to themselves where they might secure food for so many people. But Jesus did it again. And this time? There were seven large basketfuls of bread leftover. Remarkable. When Jesus meets a need, there seems to always be more than enough.
Setting out from the area of the Decapolis, the disciples discuss they have forgotten to bring bread aboard the boat. Overhearing them, Jesus asks, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet comprehend or understand? Do you still have your heart hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven.” And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Mark 8.17-21
Though the Twelve saw how Jesus loved and then did the miraculous to provide for thousands of people—not once but twice, even then the disciples were blind to what he could and would do for them. Hmmm….
Why does it take us so long to have faith in the goodness of God toward us?
And that his goodness will remain?
Upon landing, people bring a blind man to Jesus and beg him to heal … not surprisingly, he does! The formerly blind man now sees clearly.
Ah, the contrast between the disciples who had their sight, who had seen with clear eyes the goodness of Jesus, yet quickly forgot—blind to his eternal goodness. Why, Jesus would not leave them hungry! Had he been with them so long and they still could not see?
And then I remember.
That is me too.
God has been good… my Heavenly Father so faithful, and yet I can easily forget. Thinking about it just now, I wonder if there is a cure for our seasonal forgetfulness, and I believe there is—it is looking for him daily. When I set time apart each morning to pray, including thanking God for his goodness daily—literally saying ‘I thank you, God, for ___, ____... listing his gifts, I stay present. I guess it is what Jesus called abiding in him ~ John chapter fifteen, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. What an invitation – that Jesus would invite me to stay awhile with him. And then I can take him with me into each day, and go with him as he leads the way.
Yessirree, when I see the faithfulness of God in my life, I am anything but blind … I am aware that he is with me all the way. When difficulties come, as they always do--and have these past couple weeks, I do not slip into despair. He fed the 5,000-plus, he fed the 4,000, he fed the disciples, and he will feed me. He will feed you. Yeah, he’s good like that.
Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_pgGgHVxPg
O look for and see His goodness...
daily remember his faithfulness~
in the footsteps of Jesus, #26