Jesus understood the art of conversation. He utilized the long known answer to effective dialogue, to give and take, to drawing another into the discussion, the goal in mind, understanding of one for another, the open-ended question. His questions caused the disciples and all he crossed paths with to be left with lasting confirmation of his wisdom, truth, and provision. Left with no reason not to believe.
The disciples were with Jesus as detailed by Mark in his eighth chapter. Jesus had just been compassionate towards the four thousand followers, thronged together weary and hungry from travel. He had instructed the disciples to feed them as if to say, how can we let them go hungry? How can we see their need and leave them here to continue our journey?
Jesus was a noticer of need, a model for our consideration and our confirmation. Jesus challenged the disciples to believe they could make a difference, impart comfort, lead others to healing. Naturally, they asked how it could be possible for them…how they could provide for others in such a miraculous manner? How could we be assured of provision? , they oh, so quickly wondered.
They boarded the boat with Jesus and immediately anticipated trouble.
They’d forgotten their provisions, they’d left behind their bread.
Jesus is, it seems to me, was befuddled.
And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “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 : 16-21 (ESV)
The same could be said of me, my anticipation of distress and doubt over His provision. Countless times Jesus could rightly ask and have asked me, “Do you not understand”? or “Did you forget how I brought you through before?” or worst of all, “Has your heart become hardened?”
It is so very unpredictable, life and its seasons of lovely lull interspersed with either hardship coming to the surface from years buried deep or hard things happening unannounced, unexpected, unprepared for. The thing is, Jesus is the same. His love never fails. His book is overflowing with stories of rescue following what seemed to be imminent doom.
Father God, help us to remember the sweet seasons when the harsh winds blow. Help us to store up treasured stories of redemption and rescue and bright and shining miraculous replies that came when we surrendered and we waited because we knew without a doubt…still know now, that our Jesus is listening. He knows us completely and most of all when we communicate with Him, He communicates with You!
Because of mercy, Amen