Summary: In a bible reading plan I'm involved in Mark 8 was among the readings this week. In vs. 18 Jesus asks his disciples if they have eyes but fail to see and ears but fail to hear. Let's look at Mark 8 and see what we come away with.
EYES TO SEE AND EARS TO HEAR
I've been going through an online bible reading plan with someone where we read the passages of the day and comment accordingly. Mark 8 was among the readings this week. In vs. 18 Jesus asks his disciples if they have eyes but fail to see and ears but fail to hear. As I read through the chapter I saw how each of the encounters fit within the context of having eyes to see and ears to hear. So let's get into Mark 8 and see what we can come away with.
1) That won't be enough.
Vs. 1-10, "During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”
His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so.
They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand men were present. And having sent them away, he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha."
From Matthew's gospel we learn what was going on for the three days the people were with Jesus. He was healing. People kept bringing the lame, blind and mute to Jesus. The people were amazed and they praised God. This went on for three days. It doesn't specifically say if Jesus was teaching during these three days but it makes sense that he would be.
If they had brought any food at all it was minimal as Jesus makes it clear if they tried to travel to find food they would collapse. It's amazing that for three days the people weren't focused on getting food; they were locked in on Jesus. And who knows how much longer it would've continued. Jesus makes it clear that it can't go on like this; his compassion wouldn't allow it.
I wonder why the disciples didn't come to Jesus before now and highlight the food issue. They must've been hungry too; why didn't they say anything? Perhaps there was just so much going on that the disciples didn't even give it a thought.
When we have eyes to see we can have tunnel vision. We start doing something God puts on our heart and we get so busy that we don't stop to breathe. We have to pause and take care of ourselves as we take care of God's business, or any other business for that matter.
When Jesus mentions that the people needed something to eat the disciples respond with a practical statement. Seeing through physical eyes, it was clear that seven loaves of bread and a few small fish wasn't enough to feed 4,000 plus. But with Jesus, who looked at the situation through spiritual eyes, one loaf and one fish would be plenty with enough leftover to feed the disciples too.
What's interesting is that up to this point the disciples had already seen Jesus do some amazing things. In chap. 4 we have the boast story, where Jesus calmed the wind and the waves. In chapt. 5 he raises Jairus' daughter from the dead. In chapt. 6 we have Jesus walking on water but before that is the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000!
Hello, did the disciples have amnesia or something! Here they were making a practical statement when they had already seen Jesus do a multiplication miracle? Since they already had eyes that saw, they should've seen this current situation through spiritual eyes, but it seems they didn't.
But we can be like that too. We look at our current situation through physical eyes even though God has shown us many times before what he is capable of. Perhaps we have spiritual amnesia sometimes too. So we pray to be able to look at every situation through spiritual eyes; believing in the ability of God to do what looks to be impossible.
2) Can't you see?
Vs. 11-13, "The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side."