And You Still Don’t Understand?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Numbers 26-28; Mark 8


14 Jesus’ disciples had forgotten to bring any bread, so they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 He gave them strict orders: “Watch out and be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees as well as the yeast of Herod.”

16 The disciples discussed this among themselves, “He said this because we have no bread.”

17 Jesus knew what they were discussing and said, “Why are you talking about the fact that you don’t have any bread? Don’t you grasp what has happened? Don’t you understand? Are your hearts so resistant to what God is doing? 18  Don’t you have eyes? Why can’t you see? Don’t you have ears? Why can’t you hear? Don’t you remember? 19  When I broke five loaves of bread for those five thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather?”

They answered, “Twelve.”

20 “And when I broke seven loaves of bread for those four thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 Jesus said to them, “And you still don’t understand?” (Mark 8:14-21, Common English Bible)

I know many of you have heard the ongoing debate between my wife and me over the appropriate description for math in our lives. Cindy argues, “Math is your friend.”

My reply is very different from hers. I like to say, “Math was invented by demon possessed people who are out to drive us all nuts.”

What there is no argument about? I would never have survived college algebra without her tutoring me through. I struggled. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand it. When the semester came to an end, finals were over and I had gotten my grades and there was a “C” next to College Algebra, there was a party at the Broyles house. I am not sure who was happier about my survival, me or Cindy.

When I started reading today’s reading from Mark’s Gospel, and I got to the last verse of the passage above, I thought I was hearing Cindy in my ear during one of those tutoring sessions again. She would sometimes spend hours trying to force something into my pea brain only for me to show, once again, I didn’t get it. Well, really it was more like showing, I still didn’t have a clue. In near exhaustion from this monumental task, Cindy would ask something like, “All this time and you still don’t understand?” The truth was, no I didn’t. I still don’t. I have no clue what that problem is I picked out for today’s post. It looks like Martian to me.

In some of the verses from Mark 8 that precede the Scripture reading for our post today, The Pharisees were challenging Jesus for a sign. They want to see a sign. For his part, Jesus tells them they won’t see a sign. Sometimes signs aren’t there. Sometimes we have to trust, we have to have faith. The writer of Hebrews says, “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see” (Hebrews 11:1, CEB). We sometimes must accept what we don’t see.

For the twelve, however, things were a bit different. They had seen signs. They were witnesses to the feeding of the five thousand that we read a few days ago. They were witnesses to the feeding of the four thousand that is also a part of today’s Journey Through Scripture readings. Jesus reminds them that, not only did they see him feed so many people from such a small amount, there was more left over than what there was when the meal first began, and that is just the leftovers! Further, Jesus didn’t just do it once with 12 baskets of leftovers, he did it a second time with seven baskets of leftovers.

As they cross the lake they lament their lack of bread, only one loaf. After telling them, in essence, the signs the twelve had already seen, Jesus closes our lesson by asking his question, “And you still don’t understand?”

Sometimes the things Jesus had to say were difficult to understand. It is obvious this was difficult for the twelve. And, I am not trying to claim some great insight that is superior to the twelve. That is far from the case. But, it seems to me that Jesus might be saying, “When God is with you, what you have will always be more than enough.” Well, at least that has been my experience.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved



Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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