Day 14

As a follower of Jesus in the 21st century, I love it when I read about the disciples messing things up. It makes me feel so much better. There they were, face to face with Jesus, and they still didn’t get it.

You may be familiar with the story of Jesus feeding 4,000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. He actually did this twice, once with 4,000 and another time with 5,000.

One occasion is recorded in Mark 8 . . .

Can you imagine having been one of the disciples passing out the baskets that just kept filling up? I like to picture their shock and surprise as this miracle unfolded. Maybe Matthew yelled over to Bartholomew, “Yo, Bart! My basket is blowing up over here! It’s just like . . . renewing itself! It’s not running out—at all. Like ever! This is so sick!”

I think if I saw that happen and Jesus was my good friend, I would never worry again. If he can make food just multiply out of nowhere, then surely he has whatever we need, right?

But then just a few hours later, we find the disciples in a boat headed somewhere together worried about dinner. Check this out:

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. ‘Be careful,’ Jesus warned them. ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.’ They discussed this with one another and said, ‘It is because we have no bread.’

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’
’Twelve,’ they replied.’And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’ They answered, ‘Seven.’ He said to them, ‘Do you still not understand?’
— Mark 8:14–21

Isn’t it crazy that they still didn’t understand?

Somehow, even in his presence, having watched the miracles over and over again, they still didn’t get it. His closest followers didn’t get it.

We often don’t get it.

The point?
If you have a hard time understanding, you are in good company. It’s not uncommon.

He chose those guys in the boat.
He knew they would struggle to understand.
He was patient with them and he used them in mighty ways.
He will be patient with you.

Do you still not understand?

Hang in there. Keep listening. Stay close to him.
The disciples eventually got it. You will too.

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