Lessons Learned

Matthew 16:8-10
Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?  Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?  Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

Was all their time with Jesus so far in vain?  Had nothing He’d said and nothing He’d done sunk in?  Had they come this far in the journey and were still without understanding, still forgetting the amazing things they’d seen Him do?  They listened to all of His teachings and learned the deeper meanings of His parables.  They were there every time He’d disputed with the Pharisees.  They participated in the miracles Jesus mentions of feeding the multitudes.  And still they’re not quite getting it.

How hardheaded and hardhearted we can sometimes be.  How blind we are to the things that are right in front of us.  How slow we are to grasp the truths that God is trying to teach us.  How much we doubt, and how much our faith fails us at times.  Surely we can relate to the disciples, then.  Surely there have been times in our own lives where we’ve had to re-learn the same lesson over and over, where we’ve failed to grasp the obvious meaning behind what Jesus was saying to us, where we’ve doubted Him even though He’s proven Himself faithful time and time again.

So, what will it take to get our focus off of the bread, the physical and material things, and be more concerned about spiritual things?  Jesus tells us not to worry about those things.  He’s got the basics taken care of because there are more important things we need to focus on and pay attention to.  Jesus wasn’t concerned about the disciples being hungry, but being deceived by the religious leaders and their doctrine.  We are too often consumed by our physical needs when we need to elevate our thoughts a little higher and be more concerned about spiritual things.

God will never fail us.  That seems to be a lesson He has to teach us over and over.  We need constant reminders of these basic things.  How often does He simply tell us to remember?  So if we are so prone to forget, maybe we need to build some altars of our own, like the Israelites so often did.  Maybe we need some markers along the way that we can look back to that make God’s goodness real to us again.  Maybe we’ve just got to loosen our grip on this world and reach for something higher.

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