There is so much to learn here, so let’s get started. We start with Jesus feeding 4000 people with some loaves and fish. We’ve all heard this story, and we marvel at Jesus’ provision, but do we understand the part that we play? This is something which is particularly relevant in my life at the moment, as I learn to have faith in God for provision. It is not easy, and I don’t claim to be excelling in the area, but I do know the answer. Faith. Here it is again. If Jesus could just do what He wanted when He wanted without any input from us, why didn’t He just create fish and bread and pass it around? Could Jesus multiply, but not create? He created the world, so that is a bit of a stupid question. The question is, why involve us? He needs faith. You see there must have been a moment when the disciples thought, “What on earth is he going to do with this little bit of food?”. Yet they did what they were told, they brought what they had in faith. Whoever owned the food would have gladly given up what they had, because they had faith in Jesus. Once again, we see what Jesus can do when we have even the smallest amount of faith. Now some people accuse me of being too ‘us oriented’ and not focused on Jesus, because I keep going on about what we need to do. That is not true, we can do nothing without Jesus. I give the glory of every miracle I see, no matter how big or small, to God. The reason why I teach about what we need to do, is that we are the ones who need to change! It is no use telling Jesus what He did, He knows, we need to learn our part. My prayer for myself and you, is that we understand the power that God has deposited in us, and that we learn more and more how to release this power through faith and obedience.
We then see Jesus asked for a sign, by the Pharisees, and He denies them. I wonder where they had been up until now, because Jesus has done so much already. I’m sure there is a lesson there, but I’d like to move on to the next part, where they are crossing the lake. Here is a lesson where we all look at the disciples and utter the words, “How much unbelief can a person have?”. The disciples have just seen Jesus feed 5000 people, and then 4000 people with a little fish and bread, and now they are arguing because they don’t have enough bread. Unbelievable. Face palm of note. The problem is, how often do we do this? I have so many testimonies of God’s provision. I have been in much worse predicaments than I am now, and Jesus has never let me down. Why do I struggle to believe now? We tend to forget these things, don’t we? When we look at the disciples and think about how stupid they were, we need to think about ourselves here too. Now I am not condemning anyone, I’m just saying that we need to learn to believe. If we think about it logically, stress and worrying is a fruit of unbelief. If you believed 100% that Jesus would provide, why would you worry. I know as I write this that I need to sort myself out, because if I don’t, my wife is going to remind me of this next time I worry. Even the fact that I just wrote down ‘next time I worry’ as if I am expecting to worry. Do you see what I mean? It is a lack of faith. How much stress and anxiety could we get rid of if we trusted God completely? I need help with this just as much as you might. When I was reading this passage, I got a little uneasy reading verse 21, as I felt that Jesus was talking to me. “Don’t you understand yet?” Lord, please help us to trust in you completely, and never to let unbelief hold us back. Help us to exercise the faith that we have, and stand firm in Your Word.
Jesus then heals another blind man, this time with yet another twist. This time Jesus spits on his eyes, and asks him if he can see. The man can see, but not properly, so Jesus places His hands on the man’s eyes, and then he can see properly. Two things to learn here. You may not see a complete miracle first time – Don’t give up. Secondly, don’t lose faith when it doesn’t happen how you were expecting. Keep believing for a miracle, don’t give up and accept the acceptable, God wants His best for us.
I can talk about this for ages, but I want to move on to the final point for this post. Verse 33, Peter tries to reprimand Jesus for what He said, and Jesus says this to him. “Get away from me satan!”
Now we know what Peter went on to do, and that Jesus hand picked him and loved him, so isn’t it a bit harsh to call him satan? No. Jesus wasn’t calling Peter satan, but He recognised satan’s voice speaking through Peter. Let me ask you this, how many times have you had well meaning Christians, speak unbelief into your life? I get it often. People try and calm me down, try and water down my theology or faith. They don’t do this because they don’t like me, but because they do, and they think that they are helping me. The devil won’t come out and lie outright, but he is a master at just slightly twisting scripture to take us off track. I often get well meaning Christians challenging me (in love), but they get it wrong, and end up speaking unbelief over me. I have sometimes thought about saying something like Jesus said, but can you imagine how upset people would get if you said that to them? Maybe I must just do it. Jesus understood how important it was, and it didn’t change His love for Peter, it just put satan in his place. Maybe I need to be less concerned about what people think, and more concerned about what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life.
I’ll leave you with that thought. Until next time.