Mark 8 shows us a picture of Jesus’ disciples struggling to understand Him. They had already seen Him miraculously feed 5,000, but now, faced with the need to feed 4,000, they revert back to the same arguments of why it can’t happen. Then, after the miracle occurs, they get into the boat with Jesus and completely misinterpret His warning about the Pharisees to mean that He was chastising them for forgetting to bring food with them. As I shake my head in disbelief, the truth rings in my heart that I’m just as dense as they were when it comes to seeing Jesus for who He really is. I limit Him, I put Him in a box, I even think that the needs in my life are so extraordinary that He can’t meet them. Jesus’ reply to His disciples in verse 17 is stunning to me: 17 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?
In the Amplified Bible it’s said this way: Are your hearts in [a settled state of] hardness?
Is my mind made up about what I think God is or isn’t capable of? Is my heart too hard to take in the miraculous; am I in a settled state of hardness? God is at work around us every single day, but we often miss it because we rationalize it, we trivialize it, or we just flat out don’t see it. Could it be that we put limits on Him because that makes Him easier to understand or worse yet, control?
I love C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I have fond memories of reading The Chronicles of Narnia with Noah and later watching the movies that came from them. I’m often reminded of the exchange between Susan, Lucy and Mr. Beaver about Aslan who is the Jesus character of the story. “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr. Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” In our attempt to make Jesus “safe” we limit who He is. He is good, but He isn’t to be tamed by us.
Jesus asks for all that we are and have and in return, He gives us all that He is. His resources are limitless, and nothing is beyond His power. He is the Creator, Healer, God who sees us. I’m praying for eyes to see His power at work today. I have several miracles that I’m praying and believing for, but I’m trusting Him with the outcome. Not because I don’t think He can do it, but because He’s good.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach