“Seven loaves” and “a few small fish” fed “about four thousand people.” This was now the second feeding miracle reported in Mark, yet the Pharisees demanded “a sign from heaven to test Him,” and even the disciples of Jesus worried about the fact that “they had forgotten to bring bread” when the Master talked to them about “the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” His response? “Do you not yet understand?” How would God’s elect ever apprehend what their senses perceived but their minds refused to fully believe?
We read of an unusual healing at this exact moment in Mark’s account as Jesus gave a blind man vision in stages. After one touch the man said, “I see men, but they look like trees walking.” Jesus laid hands upon him again “and he saw everything clearly.” What did it all mean? Why would the ruler of the universe ordain that a needy man receive his eyesight in a way that was not instantaneous?
Even the most diligent worshipers of the Almighty need help for their souls more than once. When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter correctly replied, “You are the Christ.” That was a good start, but within seconds the great leader of early Christianity was rebuking his Savior for saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
Peter needed more grace from above in the form of a stern redirection from the Lord. Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” Why? “You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” The truth was plainly told to those who would lead the founding generation of Christian martyrs. Not only would Christ face extreme tribulation, but so would they, and so shall we. The Lord’s covenant community needs to grow in our spiritual sight by God’s provision of ongoing grace. We must never be ashamed of Jesus and His saving message.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, have compassion upon us. We have been with You, and we have followed You, but we are hungry. We need daily sustenance for our bodies, and we are often amply supplied, but who will fill our souls with Your Word and enliven us with the Spirit if You do not bless us with these great gifts every day? We know that You will give us bread from heaven. May we have eyes to perceive what is good, and ears to hear, believe, and obey. Help us to think more clearly even when we imagine that we have perfect knowledge of all things. Heal us once more, that we might see plainly the glories of Your Son. He is the Christ, who suffered, died, and rose again. Keep us far from the snares of the devil who would turn us from the cross. Grant that we would embrace the truth and duty of this atoning sacrifice, for Christ has taken away our sin and called us to a new way of love.