Scripture: Mark 8:11-21
Key verse: (21) “Do you not yet understand?”
Reflection: In Mark’s gospel the disciples seldom get it. Though they are closest to Jesus, they never comprehend who he really is. Today’s reading is a great example of their ignorance. Jesus has fed 5,000 with a few loaves and some fish, with twelve baskets of leftovers. He follows that by feeding 4,000 more with plenty of leftovers again. In the wake of these miracles, the religious authorities demand a sign. What did they think the feeding miracles were? Worse than this, his own disciples continue to live in fear that there is not enough. They have only one loaf of bread and are afraid. Jesus must remind them of the abundance his presence brings. “Do you not yet understand” he asks.
I take a strange solace in the disciples’ failure to comprehend. It is strangely comforting to see that those closest to Jesus failed to live in response to his providence, but continued living in fear that there was not enough. Jesus’ words to them are no doubt his words to me when I live in fear that there is not enough. When I can trust that he provides enough, I can stop living in fear of scarcity, and start living into the abundance God provides.
Christ calls us not to live in fear of what we lack, but to trust in what we have. I wonder what those disciples did with the one loaf they had after Jesus asked them if they understood? What will we do with what we have today? Do we understand?
Prayer: Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].