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::Devotional:: ‘Calloused Without Understanding – Part 2’

August 4, 2010

The old saying goes, “If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day but if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime.”  I believe that saying can be applied to believers as “If you tell a man what his beliefs should be he will follow them for a season but if you help him understand those beliefs they will alter his lifestyle forever.”

In part one of this devotion, ‘Calloused Without Understanding‘,  we saw that Peter’s faith wavered while walking on the water because his heart had been calloused.  He lack an understanding of something.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”  Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.  They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.  Mark 6:50-52

According to the scriptures his heart was hardened because he lacked an understanding of the miracle of the loaves and fish, the feeding of the 5,000.  Here’s where the rubber meets the road.

In the mind of the disciples, and often in our minds today, we don’t connect the dots.  Jesus performed a miracle and multiplied a few loaves of bread a fish in order to feed over 5,000 people.  An amazing miracle that the disciples experienced first hand.  Remember, they were the guys that went around and collected 12 baskets of leftovers!  But, when they saw Jesus walking on the water they didn’t connect it to the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.  Why not?

What they saw in the feeding of the 5,000 was a display of the miraculous power of Jesus Christ, but they did not understanding what that power, displayed in that manner, was proclaiming about him.  All through the gospels we see Jesus performing one miracle after another.  He healed the sick to proclaim his power over disease.  He raised to the dead to proclaim his power over death.  He cast out demons to proclaim his power over evil and satan.  He also calmed storms, multiplied loaves of bread, and walked on water to proclaim his power over nature.

I believe the disciples would have had a different reaction to Jesus walking on the water if they had left the feeding of the 5,000 with the understanding that Jesus had power over nature.  All those miracles proclaimed one truth – Jesus is sovereign.  Perhaps Peter’s faith would not have wavered had he understood this truth at that time.

We’re susceptible to the same thing.  Faith wavers without understanding.  It’s important to understand what you believe and why you believe it.  It’s even more important that your understanding of those beliefs comes from the word of God itself.  Aim for a steadfast and immovable faith.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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