Jesus has just fed first the five thousand and now the four thousand, with a few loaves and a couple of fish. So Jesus has just fed these large groups of people and up walks the religious leaders and ask for a sign from Heaven. Seriously, fed people in the desert and they want a sign to test him. Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit, for they couldn't see what was right before them. He was not going to be a dog and pony show and do something on command. So he left the faithless generation and got into a boat.
The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 38
Just those word's, getting into the boat, we know that it is not going to go well, there is going to be trouble with the twelve. During their first boat journey, the disciples are worried about a storm and ask Jesus why he doesn't care. He says to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?" (Mark 4:35-41). The next time they get in a boat and another wind comes up, Jesus comes to help and they are afraid. Jesus says, "Take heart, it is I. Do not fear." (Mark 6:45-52). So here we are in the boat again and the disciples are worried about having enough bread since there is only one loaf. Seriously, Jesus has just fed 4000 people with seven loaves, there is only twelve of them and he has one loaf. So Jesus tells them to beware of the leaven of the religious and political leaders who are seeking a sign. He says that and the twelve start talking about the bread again. Jesus is fed up. He asks them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you no 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?" (Mark 8:17-19). He then asks them about how many loaves they collected, five, seven. "Do you not understand?" These disciples, those who know and are given special teachings, yet they are the ones who see and do not perceive. They are the ones who hear and do not understand! These people who have received Jesus' invitation to follow, these who should have faith are filled with fear.
Sometimes we are like these very flawed and human followers of Jesus. Our hearts are sometimes hard. Our soil is sometimes rocky. Our eyes don't always see the way God is at work in our lives and the world. Our ears don't always hear or listen to God's word. We often live in fear, not trusting God, not believing the Good News. But with God, there is always another chance. We are always given a new word of hope and promise. Jesus always has more seeds to sow in our rocky ground hearts. Jesus has more seeds to sow that will open our eyes to see and our ears to hear.
May God send the Holy Spirit to blow through our rocky ground with seeds that will open our hardened hearts. May God turn our fearful hearts into faithful hearts. May Jesus open our eyes to see. May God open our ears that we may understand. Jesus carefully watch over our seeds. Amen.
If Everyone Cared by Nickelback