“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51
Most of us wake up doubting. Now we wouldn’t necessarily state the case in those terms, but it’s okay to be honest with yourself. Many of us wake up thinking that everything is up to us; that we have to perfectly orchestrate our lives and if we don’t everything will fall apart. The bottom line is that we have a hard time trusting that God is actually the one in control.
Jesus, as he led and trained his disciples, was always aware of the fact that doubting is our default mode, and so he used almost every opportunity he could in order to teach them how to trust him. Of course there are numerous examples of this in the gospels, but the one that stands out to me most clearly is in Mark 8.
Jesus had gathered quite a crowd outside of the city and he was teaching them and they were all enthralled to the point that no one was leaving to go grab dinner. They had been following him for three days, and most had probably run out of food. And so Jesus proposes that they feed the crowd. Oh yeah, there were about 4,000 people (and that might not have been counting women and children).
Naturally, one of the disciples chimed in and said, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” In other words, they were in the middle of the desert…they didn’t have supplies, or ovens or anything to even make food. And so Jesus asked them how many loaves they had, and they said “Seven”. There were a few small fish as well. And Mark tells us that everyone ate until they were full.
Now you have to understand, the disciples were passing out food and it never stopped coming. It was miraculously appearing over and over again until everyone was full. They experienced this with their own hands and mouths. That’s important to understand for what happens next…
Jesus and his disciples get into a boat and start to travel across the sea. And Jesus begins to teach them, and after he goes on for a while the disciples realize that they have only brought one piece of bread with them on the boat. And they are starting to get hungry. And so they start fighting about the bread. And Jesus looks at them and says, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” They had just witnessed a MIRACLE, where Jesus produced bread out of thin air, and now they are on the boat with him and they start to worry about bread! It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Don’t you get it? I am the bread! If I’m with you, you don’t have to worry anymore! Your hunger is forever satisfied!”
Now the disciples experienced a miracle and they still forgot, and they still doubted. Listen, you will too. You will often forget, and you will often doubt. You are not better than the disciples, and neither am I. The point is to speak the truths and promises of Jesus back to yourself often. Remember who he is and what he has done. Dwell on it even today!