The Pharisees went to Jesus and began to argue with him. They tested him by demanding that he perform a miraculous sign from heaven.
12 With a deep sigh he asked, “Why do these people demand a sign? I can guarantee this truth: If these people are given a sign, it will be far different than what they want!”
13 Then he left them there.
He got into a boat again and crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. 14 The disciples had forgotten to take any bread along and had only one loaf with them in the boat.
15 Jesus warned them, “Be careful! Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod!”
16 They had been discussing with one another that they didn’t have any bread.
17 Jesus knew what they were saying and asked them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you don’t have any bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you catch on? Are your minds closed? 18 Are you blind and deaf? Don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets did you fill with leftover pieces?”
They told him, “Twelve.”
20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many large baskets did you fill with leftover pieces?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
21 He asked them, “Don’t you catch on yet?” – Mark 8:11-23
Some lessons are hard to learn. Some take multiple trips down Experience Lane finally to make it into both short-term and long-term memory spots. It seems Jesus’ assessment of the disciples’ need in this manner indicated that this would not be the last trip down this lane for them. They would need to learn this lesson again and again. Jesus cares. Jesus sees our needs. Jesus will provide a way. Jesus can be trusted. Jesus knows our limits. Jesus knows the inclinations of our hearts (John 2:24).
It’s a difficult lesson to learn because there are so many things conspiring against us in our trust of God. The first commandment, “You shall have no other gods,” is well summed up: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things (Thank you, Martin Luther). But fears abound all around us. COVID, financial fears, political unrest, and cultural warfare all vie for front and center of our fear detectors.
And there are so many things to love. Fast cars, slick electronic gear, snazzy clothes, glitzy jewelry, exciting liaisons, and dream homes beg for our hearts. We cannot fill the hole in our our hearts with any of those things, but we too often seek to cram them into that aching empty space.
When it comes to trust, what’s left? Your best friend trusted her husband who just left her for a trophy wife (who is yet to become his wife). The government?!? Nobody trusts them any more. We don’t even trust “our guy” when he’s in power. The idea of trust but verify has been turned on its ear. Now it’s verify, but never fully trust.
It’s no wonder we must learn again and again that nobody loves us like Jesus does. The Holy Spirit must lead us again and again to trust in the Lord with all our hearts (cf. Proverbs 3:5). Sometimes it’s only the fear of God that keeps us from going down a very dark path to a dangerous place of our doom and the harm of many others. Lord help us!
This is the Good News of Jesus. God has helped us in our weakness. Not only did he give his Son for our forgiveness, life, and salvation, he also gives us the Holy Spirit. He leads us again and again to the source of hope, peace, joy, and love.
That means we need to “get it” again and again. Maybe one day we’ll learn. Perhaps one day we’ll not worry about bread. Surely One Day Jesus will be totally enough!