Frustrated Again

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? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? . . . Do you still not understand? (Mark 8:17-21)

It may well be the closest Jesus gets to losing his cool.  The words are not addressed to his enemies, but to his disciples, and few early readers would be surprised by Jesus’ frustration.

Mark 1:16 – 8:21 is marked by three callings of Jesus: a call to follow him, a call to be with him, and a call to imitate him.  At the beginning of the last call, Jesus feeds 5000 people from 5 loaves of bread and two fish. At the end of the last call, he feeds four thousand from a sack lunch.

Both stories:
* begin with a need to feed the crowd.
* continue with Jesus delegating the task to the disciples
* have the disciples insisting it cannot be done.
* have Jesus asking “how many loaves do you have?”
* mention Jesus telling the crowd to sit on the ground.
* mention Jesus praying
* have Jesus feeding the crowd.

And then, scant hours later, the disciples are arguing with one another because they have no food.

Hopefully, you can understand why Jesus comes a bit unhinged.

When we’re too busy bemoaning our challenges, worrying about them, or even hoping they never come our way, we become willingly blind to the matchless power of God to provide –  and eyes that won’t see are the blindest of all.

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