“Won’t you ever learn or understand?” (Mark 8:17)
Jesus had just a touch of irritation in His voice. I’m sure of it. This Jesus Question was the second of six questions that He asked in rapid succession. He even drew two of His questions from the Old Testament. He pulled out the big guns!
I could understand Jesus’ exasperation if He was speaking to the religious elite of His day. They seemed a peculiarly dull group, mostly blind to who He was and resistant to what God was doing through Him. But He addressed these questions, fired like bullets, to His disciples.
Jesus had good cause.
Having just watched Jesus miraculously feed a huge crowd, the disciples had a brain-freeze. They seemed to forget as fast as it happened. His grace touched their lives but then promptly slipped their minds.
Forgetfulness. It doesn’t get better with age, but I’m seeing it afflict both young and old alike.
We forget for a myriad of reasons, I’m sure. It doesn’t help that I’m busy trying to multi-task all the time. If I’m not paying close attention, then those tidbits of information fly in…and back out…without me noticing! It’s a chronic part of the human condition, and that’s what made Jesus (apparently) a little terse with His disciples.
We can be grateful that Jesus instituted what we call the “Lord’s Supper” (or Eucharist, Communion) to address our penchant for forgetfulness. “Do this in remembrance of Me.” The bread and the cup keep before us the death and resurrection of Christ. At the very least, the elements provide a consistent object lesson, lest we forget.
Yet, how quickly we forget Christ when we get busy, stressed, tired, or irritated.
His work in our lives yesterday can be quickly lost in the craziness and concerns of today. So, on this 18th day of Lent, faced with a rather pointed Jesus Question, perhaps we could take a few minutes and specifically list (in our minds or on paper) the many evidences of His grace in our lives.
Let’s remind ourselves of His power to save and transform. Let’s recall His promises and reliability. Let’s remember His mercy and sovereignty. Let’s reflect on His provision and Presence.
“Won’t you ever learn or understand?” (Mark 8:17). At times, I imagine Jesus might ask us the same question. We are slow to learn when we fail to look back. We fail to understand when we don’t remember. And these failures isolate us from Him and stagnate our spiritual Journey.
Today, take time (even a minute or two right now) to ponder and pray. His track record lays the groundwork for our faith and hope.