Disciples Who Do Not Understand (Mk 8:14-21)
O Jesus, do not let my heart be hardened.
Picture Jesus in the boat with the Twelve.
Certainly, the Pharisees have hardened hearts, but this text shows that the disciples’ hearts are hardening, also. The multiplication of the loaves has not increased their faith. They have received a sign and still do not believe.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had but one loaf in the boat. Jesus instructed them, “Keep your eyes open. Be careful of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that was because they had no bread. Jesus knew this and said, “Why do you think it is because you have no bread? Do you not know or understand? Are your hearts still blind?
Do you have eyes and not see? Do you have ears and not hear? Do you not remember when I broke five loaves for the five thousand? How many baskets did you gather up?” They said “twelve.” “When I broke seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets of fragments did you gather up?” They said, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The disciples bring one loaf. This represents Jesus. He is sufficient. That is the theme of this passage.
- These disciples had witnessed Jesus multiplying bread on two occasions, but do not grow in faith.
- They share the leaven of disbelief, a corrupting influence which is hardening their hearts.
- Jesus, seeing their lack of faith, berates them with seven questions, and equates them with the blind Pharisees.
- In spite of all the divine signs, they are going backward in their faith.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you have given me so many signs.
- You are the one loaf. You are all I need. I will bring you into my boat.
- Remove my unbelief. Take away my worldly spirit.
- Fill me with faith. Let me see and hear and understand and embrace you forever.
- Jesus, increase my confidence in you.
- Jesus, when I see, help me to understand. When I hear, help me to believe.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will ponder for a moment all that God has provided for me.
+ I will set aside lukewarm faith. I will ask Jesus for a living, vibrant faith that always moves ahead.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Do you have eyes and yet not see? Do you have ears and yet not hear?