Their hearts were too hard to take it in. (Mark 6:52)


Mark tells us in his gospel that after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, the disciples just couldn’t absorb what had just happened. He says, “Their hearts were too hard to take it in”. (Mark 6:52) Very often when we read about huge miracles like walking on water or feeding the five thousand it just seems unbelievable. But if we turn our attention to the small everyday things, it doesn’t seem so difficult to imagine. Forget, for a moment, that Jesus was walking past the boat on the water. Focus on the fact that when he saw their fear, he got in the boat with them instead of walking past, as he had intended. Focus on the result of that small act – the wind stopped and everything calmed down. If you don’t think you’ve ever seen a real biblical miracle, think about whether you’ve ever experienced your fear or worry calmed by an unexpected act of kindness. Maybe at that level Jesus isn’t so hard to believe.


Mark 6:45-52 NLT

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here! ” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.

Psalms 40:4-5 NLT.

4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.
5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.


It seems that the psalmist was happy to believe in the many wonders God performed in his life, who is to say what constitutes a miracle or a wonder. Is there a difference? I think there are many examples I can find of God’s wonders in my life. I’m sure those who are skeptical about faith would rubbish my little everyday ‘miracles’ but I’m confident that I know the Joy of one who trusts the Lord.

Today’s readings:

Leviticus 14:1-57, Mark 6:30-56, Psalms 40:1-10, Proverbs 10:11-12


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