Let’s continue on with our brief study of the Gospel of Mark. This time it will be about people’s faith and the Bread. I know that seems like two different things but let me try to tie them together.
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.”...
They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them:“Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?“”Twelve,” they replied.
It is hard for me to imagine the frailty of their faith that the apostles continuously had in the messages and abilities of Jesus. Any of the miracles that he performed would have made me a firm and total believer. But, of course that is total speculation on my part. As an aside Thomas Jefferson believed that all the miracles attached to Jesus were add by those wanting to enhance is divinity after he ascended into heaven. If that is the case then things change.
I kind of like the story about feeding the five thousand. I can’t imagine that many people sitting at the feet of Jesus for three days and without much food at that. The apostles seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the people were probably hungry but Jesus having God’s agape love for everyone was very aware of their hunger both spiritually and physically.
The second part of the quote above is believed to be shortly after the first one and bread is again the subject matter. Jesus seems very disappointed that his twelve did not seem to learn anything from the previous encounter with bread. I can imagine that he was continuously disappointed in the apostles’ action much like he is about almost all of our actions in today’s world.
The apostles just didn’t seem to “get it” and neither do so many of us. But, I would kind of like to give us an excuse. We only have passed down verbal accounts of many of Jesus’ dealing and the accounts that we have have been interpreted in so many different ways as to be confusing even to educated theologians. Almost every one of the red letters has many different beliefs about them. Sometimes I think that man has just taken the simple messages of Jesus and made them complicated by all our passed down traditions and dogma.
Let’s get back to the basics and that is Jesus told us to love God with all our hearts and souls and to love each other. It couldn’t be simpler than that. How have we lost that basic message in the church today?