Jesus and his disciples had been talking with the religious rulers. The rulers demanded a sign from heaven that would prove to them Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus told them no sign would be given. Then he and his disciples went into a boat to cross the lake.
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
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?”
A commentator said many Christians fail to listen, fail to understand the deeper things of God. It is because we don’t take the time to study the Bible. We think about things of this earth much more, “Do we have enough food in the house?” “Do we need to replace this old table?” “What shall we do Saturday night?”
Jesus asked them, “Don’t you remember?” He was talking about the hundreds of loaves of bread he had given to the 4,000 people just that day. Why would they worry about food when they had two examples of Jesus providing plenty of food? Why would they think Jesus was talking about food. Jesus was telling them to remember what he had done in the past so they would not worry about the future.
The disciples many times took Jesus’ words literally when they weren’t meant that way. We make the same mistake today. Most Christians think the parable of the “Rich Man and Lazarus” is about heaven and hell. They seem to think we will be able to see and talk with the people in hell while we are in heaven. Impossible. If we are to be happy in heaven this could not be a literal story. “Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.” Psalm 37:10
Jesus was just saying that someone who would let people starve outside their door while they have plenty of food to share will indeed go to hell (grave, death, judgement) while those who suffer and love God will go to heaven. He also told us in that story that when people have decided to not follow God, even a miracle will not convince them. “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
Are our hearts hardened? This is something we probably don’t know but should ask God to soften our hearts so we understand his great love and goodness.
We should ask God to give us hearts of flesh and take away our hearts of stone. We should ask him to renew a right spirit within us; to open our eyes, ears, heart, mind and hands to do his will.
We need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and as he promised, he will fill us with himself. He will become inside of us a spring of water flowing upward to eternal life.