I love the Bible. It is full of amazing stories, God working in unfathomable ways and using real people. God chose to use people who were marred by sin, weak, destitute, proud, pious; pretty much any ugly characteristic that we can imagine. He kept it real so that we can understand that He is a God who saves sinners, who uses the weak and who works all things together for His glory.
Sometimes I wish that I were able to have lived when Jesus lived and heard Him speak personally. Surely the disciples had a greater ability to hear and follow Him, when they personally walked with Him for three years, right?
During His ministry, the twelve had already been gathered and Jesus had sent them out to proclaim His coming and they were enabled to heal disease, cast out demons and work miracles. They had listened to much of His teaching, and spent much time with Him. One day they were out in the wilderness and Jesus had been teaching a crowd of 5,000 men plus their wives and children, and had fed all of them with just five loaves of bread and two fish. That evening they sailed across the Sea of Galilee without Jesus, and He walked out on the water to meet them and He calmed the storm while getting into the boat.
Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.
– Mark 6.51-52
They had watched Jesus heal people daily. They themselves had been given power to work miracles. They watched Jesus calm another storm while they were all in the boat. That very day they witnessed Him feeding thousands of people with just two fish and five loaves of bread. But they had not gained any insight as to who Jesus was, or the nature of His power.
Do you know that God is rocking our world every day? Miracles like what we see in the Bible are happening all around the world in correlation with the pioneering of the Gospel into un-reached areas. He is radically transforming lives and saving people from addiction, selfishness, meaningless lives and sin right here in our own backyard. He can give you new life, if you have not yet repented and turned to Him.
What is Jesus doing in your life about which you have not gained any insight? What blew your mind when it happened, but has quickly slipped away into just a story that you tell when you are on the spot or get into life comparison with others? What Scripture have you read that gave a direct command or revelation of the character of God, but has not effectively impacted or changed how you think or live?
Shortly after this incident, Jesus fed another 4,000 people with just a small amount of food – leaving seven baskets full of excess. That same evening, the disciples were in a boat with Jesus and they had only one loaf of bread with them, and they were concerned about what they would eat. They could not grasp and trust Jesus and His power on their own.
But then Jesus confronted them with the simple question, “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8.27). They told Him that some were calling Him the reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets. Then Jesus asked them directly, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8.29). And Peter answered “You are the Christ” (Mark 8.30), and Jesus answered him,
“Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
– Matt 16.17
Simon (Peter) answered correctly. He, at this point, finally understood that Jesus was the Messiah, the promised one of God. But he did not fully understand the person and mission of Jesus.
God has to reveal Himself to us. In our flesh and worldly minds, we cannot grasp who Jesus is and repent. We can see the things that God does, but we will not understand, it will not impact us, and we will not change. We will see Jesus feed thousands of people twice, out of nothing, and that very same day wonder where our next meal will come from. In our worldly perceptions, Jesus can be a good teacher, He can be a heretic, He can be a lunatic, or He can even be the Son of God. But God has to reveal Him to us as the savior, and the forgiveness of our sins. He has to indwell us to give us the strength to repent, change and honor Him.
What is right in front of your face that you are missing? What lessons are not sticking? Let us reflect on what He has done in our lives and what He is doing in our lives. Let us chew on the Scriptures every day and petition the Lord to write them on our hearts and change who we are. Let us meditate on the Truth and let it sink into our beings. Let us seek His guidance and leadership, let us love Him earnestly. Let us not ask from where our next meal will come.