March 10, 2023
Daily Lectionary:Gen 24:32-52, 61-67, Mark 8:1-21
And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet 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?” (St. Mark 8:16–18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It’s easy to give the disciples grief. Today we have the benefit of hindsight and we are absolutely positive, 100% certain, without a doubt in our minds, that we would have been better and more perceptive disciples. Except not. We’d be just as bad, if not worse.
Jesus had just fed 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. He and His disciples crisscrossed the Sea of Galilee dodging inquisitive Pharisees and their sign-seeking. Jesus is trying to make a point (as usual), and all the Twelve can think about is dinner. They’re arguing about who forgot to pack the ice chest, and Jesus has to be the parent and calm them down and try to focus their attention. They are so worried about the right now, that they have completely forgotten that the sun will rise tomorrow, whether or not they have enough to eat today.
Do you see yourself in the Twelve now? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the despair and disaster of everyday troubles. Admit it, your mind has wandered during church more times than you can remember, other things have suddenly become more important than the Word of God.
And that’s what Jesus is trying to get the disciples to understand; that he fed the 4,000 and had seven baskets of food left over, that he fed the 5,000 before that and had twelve baskets of food left over, that wherever He goes, abundance and healing abound.
The Pharisees and Herodians were only thinking about the now, living day-to-day on the hope that they had just enough power and authority to stay in charge of things, and the disciples are getting dangerously close to that attitude.
He wants them to remember that when He is with them, they will always have plenty. And that’s true today as well. Jesus is with us, providing what we need most in abundance: His Word and gifts. Along the way, He provides for our earthly needs, too, through our families and occupations.
Even when we think about and focus on the wrong things, Jesus is with us to bring us back to reality; to the certainty of his presence with us to sustain, guard, and keep us always in the one true faith. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord, take my hand and lead me Upon life’s way; Direct, protect, and feed me From day to day. Without Your grace and favor I go astray; So take my hand, O Savior, And lead the way. (Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me, LSB 722:1)
-Pastor Duane Bamsch is the Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley, CA and the President of Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.