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Forgotten Provisions 

Mark 8:14-21

Ever go on a camping trip where you forgot to bring enough food? I was raised in the Adirondacks and when I worked at Word of Life Island, one of my jobs was to take kids to the top of Mt. Marcy and back safely. We would take about thirty teenagers up the Johns Brook Trail, hike for about four hours, and then camp at the base of the mountain. The one thing that I didn’t want to happen was to arrive several hours in backcountry and discover that we didn’t have enough food. Hungry backpackers can get angry. 

Jesus didn’t have to manufacture camping excursions to get back to the wild. He and his disciples sailed, camped out, and often lived in the wild during their Galilean ministry before the final thrust into Judea. And Mark described how one time on a sailing trip across the Sea of Galilee, the disciples got into an intense argument when they discovered that they only had one loaf of bread. 

“Now the disciples had forgotten to bring bread with them in the boat, except for one loaf. And Jesus, seizing the teaching moment, exhorted them, ‘Pay attention! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.’ So they started arguing among themselves, ‘It’s because we have no bread.’ 

Aware of their heated back and forth discussion, Jesus said, ‘Why are you arguing over not having enough loaves? Don’t you get it? Don’t you understand? Have your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear? You don’t remember? How many baskets of left overs did you all pick up when I broke the five loaves to give to the five thousand?’ 

‘Twelve,’ they replied. ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many of the bigger baskets full of left overs did you collect?’ ‘Seven.’ Then Jesus said, ‘And you still don’t understand?’” Mark 8:14-21

Jesus started to give them a warning about the seductive, permeating influence of the religious purists who would kill a person over whether or not they washed their hands right, and Herod, the political operative, who cut off John the Baptist’s head because he was manipulated by his adulterous wife and had to save face before his men. But that lesson was put on hold because the disciples were arguing over a loaf of bread that wasn’t going to be enough to satisfy their hunger. Before I get too critical, how many times have I argued over a church budget because I was uptight about whether or not the Lord would provide. It’s wise to rest in the fact that we’re connected to the great multiplier. 

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!