Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023 – Mark 7:24-8:21

I'm not a parent, but I am an educator, and I have spent many years working with youth. The last sentence of this passage resonates with me in that role. "Don't you understand yet?" he [Jesus] asked them. 

As I went through school to become a teacher, one of the mantras that the chair of the department taught us was, "Repetition is the key to knowledge." He said this often, which is probably why I will never forget it. I love how this just illustrates the truth in it. The more often we see, hear, or experience something, the more it becomes a permanent change to what we learn; it becomes what we know. 

Jesus, traveling with his disciples (which means learner or student) has exposed them to the repetition of the Kingdom of God. They have seen countless miracles: healing blindness, casting out demons, raising people from the dead, and feeding thousands from what would be enough for a small family. They have seen and felt the love and forgiveness that Jesus brings. With all of this, Jesus is hoping that perhaps the disciples might be catching on to what Jesus is capable of. But here they are worried and fighting because they only have a little food between the 13 of them. 

Based on my knowledge of educating children and adults, it is likely that if the disciples were children, they simply would have asked Jesus to bless the bread and feed them all, because that is what they had witnessed. However, as adults, these disciples have to unlearn their many years of understanding how the world works. In their experience, one loaf of bread for 13 people means that some or all go hungry. This speaks to why Jesus tells us we need the faith of a child. Believe what you see and hear about the Lord. God is good, God provides, God loves us. And thank goodness God still does these things when we struggle to believe.

Questions for reflection:

  1. How old were you when you started learning about Jesus? How do you think that has affected your learning curve?
  2. As followers of Christ, how do we help others who struggle to understand, like the disciples?
  3. What can you do for yourself when you struggle to understand?