The Other 90%
". . . Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread?. . .” Mark 8:17
There is no better antidote to spiritual dullness than paying attention. The disciples had seen Jesus perform the miracle of the bread, but it had little effect in their spiritual reflection. Repeated exposure to Jesus’ teaching, without application, results in dullness. We experience this whenever we fail to think and act upon what we have learned. Someone once said that 90% of life is paying attention, and that’s where applying truth begins.
The disciples were preoccupied about where their next meal was coming from, they failed to pay attention to Jesus’ warning against poisoning their relationship with Him. Mundane concerns distracted them too much, and they failed to make the connection between Jesus and their circumstances. They are in constant worry about having too little bread and not enough resources. Their anxiety over the bread keeps them from looking up and noticing the obvious answer to their problem. It's as if they are listening to Him with all the clarity of an AT&T user trying to get a signal on Woodlands Parkway.
Jesus asked them why they are so worried about only having one loaf in the boat. He prods them to recall how many leftovers they picked up. They can recall the numbers easily enough, twelve and seven, but they are not getting the lesson. Jesus fed nine thousand people with next to nothing. The disciples themselves helped distribute the bread and helped gather up the leftovers. Though they had front row seating at both events, they have failed to pay attention to the major lesson of all the events.
Even though Jesus refreshes their memory, their hearts still don't fully comprehend what is right in front of them. The meaning of the miracles escapes them. They are so mired in their own petty problems.
Do you see yourself in this story, repeating the same scenarios, but missing the point? The good news is Jesus doesn't give up on His disciples. And He still holds out hope for us, that we will clue into the big truth. We must move from being data-collectors into meaningful discerners.
The one big truth the disciples have failed to pay attention to, is the very same one we miss on a daily basis. The big truth is, they are worrying about bread, while they are in the boat with the bread of life.
Today, don't forget Jesus is in the boat with you.