Tuesday, October 30

Readiness to learn

Scripture: Job 21, Mark 5-6

Mark 6:51-52 They were completely astounded, because they had not understood about the loaves.  Instead, their hearts were hardened.

Observation

After feeding the 5000 with a few loaves and fish, Jesus sent the disciples across the lake while He went up the mountain to pray.  In the middle of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the water, while they were rowing fruitlessly against the wind.  When He got in the boat, the wind died and they were astounded. 

What interests me is Mark’s explanation.  They had not understood about the loaves; instead their hearts were hardened.

What had they not understood about the loaves, the miraculous feeding, and how did that relate to Jesus walking on the water and calming the wind?  The one constant is Jesus Himself.  In their scriptures, God Himself is the one who feeds His people and controls nature.  Their problem was their christology—they were having trouble believing that Jesus was their God in the flesh.  They were amazed by the miracles, but were not putting them together and understanding who Jesus was.  Why?

Their hearts were hardened.  This is a lack of spiritual perceptivity, a lack of readiness to learn.  

Application

The disciples are not the only ones who struggle with hard hearts.  I do too.  When I was a kid, I heard the saying, “My mind is made up!  Don’t confuse me with facts!”  That’s a hard heart: a lack of readiness to learn.  It’s a major problem for lots of people—including me!

To be a disciple of Jesus is to be a learner.  It means I have to be willing to learn new things, to change my mind.  I must be curious, attentive, observant and open minded.  That doesn’t mean that I have no boundaries or absolutes.  But it does mean that I’m humble and teachable.  

(Think about this: there was no greater absolute for a first century Jew than God Himself—and that God was not a man.  Then Jesus showed up and blew open all their categories!  No wonder they didn’t understand and had hard hearts!)

Today, I want to be a learner.  I want to have a soft heart, ready to learn, ready to know God better and love Him more.

Prayer:  Lord, soften my heart and make me a learner.  Show me where I’m stubbornly clinging to my own ideas rather than Your truth.