Hardened Hearts

August 17, 2006 at 10:15 am (Faith, My ramblings)

This morning I was reading Mark 8:14-21, 14, “The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. ‘Be careful,’ Jesus warned them. ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.’ They discussed this with one another and said, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’ ‘Twelve,’ they replied. ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’ They answered, ‘Seven.’ He said to them, ‘Do you still not understand?'”
I have read this passage many times and always focused on the yeast of the Pharisees but this morning, I was focused on the disciples’ attitudes. My thought after reading this was, those knuckleheads! They have been with Jesus, literally and physically. They watched Him feed thousands from five loaves of bread and two fish, then again with seven loaves of bread. Not only did everyone eat until they were satisfied, but there were leftovers! Both times!

They were also with Him as He healed the sick, cast out demons and rebuked the weather.
I was feeling a little prideful and judging them for their lack of faith when a thought came to me. How am I any different? Don’t I have periods of doubt that the Lord can get me out of a situation? I also have seen Jesus do so many miracles, starting with me! I have never been hungry, never been homeless, never without what I need yet I worry needlesslessly about financial provision, my future and an endless list of things of really no importance.

Jesus’ question at the end is so fitting, “Do you still not understand?” I can picture His face as He asks His close companions this question with a hint of sadness. I no longer feel prideful or judgmental towards them, I feel gratitude. I am so thankful for each disciple and thankful that they too with struggled with “stuff.” Jesus didn’t condemn them, he asked questions. He got to the heart of the matter or should I say, the matter of the heart. It always starts and ends with the heart.

This morning mine was a little hardened. Hardened by life, circumstances, annoyances, judgment, pride and utter foolishness. I confess my sin to the Lord and instantly feel the hardness melt away. I remember His promises now; my eyes, ears and heart are now open again. To live, to love, to be filled with Him.

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