The Critical Link
By Regular Contributor Janice
Our Christian faith was never intended to be something separate from our every day lives. Rather, faith in Jesus is the critical link that provides believers today with the necessary understanding to experience and interpret life. We see this in the book of Mark chapter 8. Here, the crowds had been gathered around Jesus for three days with nothing to eat. Jesus knew that if He sent them home, some of the people might not make it because of their physical hunger. They might faint. But Jesus’ disciples thinking only from a physical perspective asked, “How can one feed these men with [only] bread here in the desert?” After all, altogether there are only 7 loaves and a few small fishes to be had, hardly enough pickings to feed 4,000.
The disciples’ question is often similar to our own lives when things start piling up against us with no immediate resolution in sight. Here were the disciples in the same situation, wondering with their “earthly” world view how Jesus intended to satisfy the crowd’s physical hunger. What the disciples didn’t comprehend is that Jesus understood the people’s “spiritual” hunger. That for three days straight the crowds had lingered for more of Jesus’ teachings and parables. More of Jesus’ miracles and healings. More of Jesus!
Just like Jesus already knew the heart of the Greek woman, a Syrophoenician by birth whose daughter had a demon. She begged Jesus to help. Jesus said in Mark 7:27-29, “Let the children first be fed for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But the woman answered Jesus saying, “Yes Lord, yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
The mother’s request was for a physical healing but like the crowd of 4,000, this woman had a spiritual hunger – an ultimate faith that Jesus could and would heal her daughter’s sickness. She wasn’t about to leave unsatisfied. Jesus saw the desire of the mother’s heart and the daughter was healed. Like the crowd who for 3 days wanted more of Jesus. More of Jesus in spite of the physical.
There was a lesson being taught here. It was what teachers today call a teaching moment – a revelation. That is, when Jesus took the 7 loaves and few small fishes and gave thanks over them, the food multiplied to the point that the crowd ate and were satisfied. Full. When the meal was finished and the broken pieces of food collected, there were seven baskets in total. More than the crowd started with. Imagine what the disciples thought then.
This is why our faith in Jesus is integral to who we are. Because Jesus sees and knows the very desires of our heart. He wants to bless us with His abundance — just like the mother who wouldn’t settle for a physical response — just like the crowds who wanted more of Jesus in spite of the physical. As Christians, this is what faith is about — when it becomes intertwined with our very being. Therefore, faith is not intended to be separate – put on the shelf until we need it – but intertwined in every aspect of our walk with our Lord and Saviour. The disciples needed to learn this lesson and many times so do we. Take hold of Jesus today and don’t let go for He never fails! Never …
“Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have from ancient time? Have not I the Lord? And there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour — there is none beside Me. Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:21-22)