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? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? “Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? ” They answered, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
After performing a miracle of incredible proportions (feeding the 4000) Jesus and His disciples jumped in a boat ready for their next adventure, when his disciples realized that they forgot to bring bread. Trying to teach his disciples a lesson about the hypocrisy of those who were trying to resist him, He said “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s.” The lesson went right over their heads, and instead prompted a discussion about the fact that they forgot to bring anything for lunch.
This discussion caused a sort of amazement in Jesus that provoked him to momentarily drop the lesson he intended to teach to deal with an issue of great importance. FAITH.
One might wonder what a discussion about forgetting to bring lunch would have to do with faith, but Jesus saw into the heart of the matter. The disciples were worried about what they were going to eat and yet they were in the boat with the one who just provided food supernaturally for 4000 people. As Jesus listens to their discussion, he quickly asks them a question to get to the point!
Why are you talking about having no bread?
The bread part isn’t as relevant as the human need part is. He could just as easily be talking to a ministry leader or a church planter in 2016. Why are you talking about not having enough money? Why are you discussing not having the right leaders? When you have seen me come through in the past why are you worried if I show up in your present?
The bread itself, merely speaks to our needs and unfortunately we are often more aware of what we don’t have than we are of the ONE who is in the boat with us. That’s what shocked Jesus out of a lesson he intended to teach. Could it be that we forfeit greater lessons that God intends to teach us because we can’t get this issue of faith settled?
It’s not that there is something wrong with discussing legitimate needs, but rather God wants his record of provision in the past to inform our current circumstance.
God wants our discussions to start with HIM.
God wants us to remember his consistent record of provision, miracles, grace and just-in-the-nick-of-time help as we think about our current situation.
When we are constantly hyper-aware of what we don’t have it blinds our ability to see the God who is an “ever present help in time of need.”
As your team gets ready to launch a church, start a new ministry, or maintain faithfulness in a current one; what miracles do you need to remember? Has your memory become so short that you have forgot all the ways God has provided, blessed and rescued in the past? Are you more aware of what you don’t have than of the God that invades the impossible?
In the journey we are on we all face need, disappointment and delays, but get ready, the God who has done miracles in the past is ready to break into your present!