In Mark 8:1-10 Jesus performs his second feeding miracle. Here he is moved by compassion for the crowd and feeds them with a few loaves of bread and some fish. Like before, he blesses the food and breaks it and his disciples distribute it. There are several things that can be taken from this narrative, but I want to focus on one simple truth that I was confronted with today.
Having twice seen Jesus feed the multitudes with a few loaves and fish you would think the disciples would never again worry about food. Yet in verse 13 we see them loading a boat for a trip to Bethsaida. They forgot to bring bread and only had one loaf to feed them all on the trip (vs. 14). They become concerned about this lack of bread and Jesus overhears them discussing it among themselves (vs.16). Here is how Jesus responds:
“Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts 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 did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Mark 8:17-21 (ESV)
When I read this I found myself irritated with the disciples. How could they be worried about food when they had seen Jesus miraculously feed thousands of people twice? Certainly Jesus could feed twelve men! As I thought this, the Spirit of God gently reminded me that I don’t understand either.
For 10 years I have seen the Lord provide for my family and for Living Bread Ministries in ways that I could not imagine. More specifically we just witnessed the Lord provide over $60,000 of the $150,000 we need to operate and expand in 2014. Yet like the disciples, who were focused on the one loaf they had rather than how Jesus had provided before, I often focus on my current circumstances rather than a long history of deliverance and provision. Too often, I just do not understand!