Read This Week: Mark 8
During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come from a long distance.” – Mark 8:1-3 NIV
Total recall is defined as the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with extreme precision. Total recall is also known as Eidetic Memory, which is recalling an image from memory with high accuracy for a time after seeing it only once. Eidetic is from the Greek word eidos, meaning seen. It would be easy for us to glance at the events of Mark 8:1-10 and think that we had seen this before, that it is a total recall of something we had just read. Our eidetic memory kicks in and tells us that the story and miracle in Mark 8 is the same one we just studied in Mark 6:30-44. But it is not the same.
Those who will try to find inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible often get tripped up by the events of Mark 8:1-10 with the feeding of the five thousand. But it is not the same story with seeming discrepancies as to the narrative in Mark 6:30-44 as they are two different accounts. Take note of the differences below:
5 Loaves & 2 Fish
12 Baskets Left
7 Loaves & Few Fish
7 Baskets Left
Notice that they take place in two different settings, in front of two different crowds and cultures, with distinct circumstances, needs, and timeframes. What remains consistent in both accounts and is a total recall of the previous story, is the compassion of Jesus for the people and his exercise of eternal power to do a miracle on their behalf. The authority, actions, and outcome of what the Savior accomplishes is a total recall.
However, the disciples did not have total recall of what Jesus had previously done. Their memories were short when it came to His miracle-working power. Even after they had witnessed the feeding of the five thousand, they forgot that the Lord could do the same thing again. When they had the perfect opportunity to remember and apply faith, they responded with doubt and unbelief in this question: But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?
Although the disciples’ reaction is disappointing and frustrating, it is difficult to be hard on them. We have some of the same tendencies in our life with God. We often forget His mercies and goodness of the past and fail to apply them to current situations. We can disregard the miracles He has done when remembering His grace and provision would fill us with faith and joy.
We need better and more precise recollection in our spiritual walks. We need to be aware of what we’ve seen before from the Lord and implement it regularly in our actions, devotion, and our witness before the world. We need total recall that Jesus Christ never changes. He remains the same and has the solution to every problem no matter the situation. We need spiritual eidetic memories so we can be confident in, trust, and obey God while experiencing the new miracles and success that He alone brings.
Mark 8:11-13 says, The Pharisees came out and began to argue [contentiously and debate] with Him, demanding from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him [because of their unbelief]. He groaned and sighed deeply in His spirit and said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, [b]no sign will be given to this generation!” Leaving them, He again boarded the boat and left for the other side.
Sighed – 1 emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling. 2 feel a deep yearning for (someone or something lost, unattainable, or distant).
Groaned – 1 make a deep inarticulate sound in response to pain or despair.
Do you ever feel inside your heart sadness, pain, a yearning for someone you love that continues to argue with you and doesn’t want to listen to the truth? Jesus went through the same thing. What God is showing me is when they are in that place you can only do so much, you can share the love with them to help them, but God doesn’t want us arguing back with them. Sometimes we have to walk away so things don’t get worse.
This is for everyone. Father God just wants us to believe and trust in Him, He doesn’t want us demanding a sign, or to even argue with Him, He just wants us to know that He knows and to ask Him, not tell Him what to do. He loves it when we have a conversation with Him, trusting Him and wanting to be a part of what He is doing.
For me, I have learned and am still learning to remember that God knows best, and He loves me and is He is always working out everything for my good and for the good of others. Thank you, God, for Your beautiful heart of love.
This is a great lesson from Mark 8:11-13, Heidi. You gave some great practical and relational insight into dealing with difficult situations and confrontations. Jesus provides so many wonderful examples for us when it comes to interacting with others and how to properly navigate moments that need the application of wisdom and discretion. I needed this reminder:
What God is showing me is when they are in that place you can only do so much, you can share the love with them to help them, but God doesn’t want us arguing back with them. Sometimes we have to walk away so things don’t get worse.
I really loved how you parlayed that into our relationship with God too. We often want to control and manage our situations and even our walk with God. I appreciated these thoughts because they are so true and we often don’t even know we’re doing it:
God just wants us to believe and trust in Him, He doesn’t want us demanding a sign, or to even argue with Him, He just wants us to know that He knows and to ask Him, not tell Him what to do.
When I confront you about things in your life, I do it in love. You can always take My past faithfulness as a promise for My continued love and care for you. I am with you always. What do you believe about Jesus? What do you believe about Me? How you view yourself is how you think I see you. My son’s suffering and death was the ultimate example of yours and others’ sin against Me, and it was also the supreme expression of My love to man.
As we are in a new year, You need to believe and not perform. I want you to embrace and enjoy Me. I want you to live with Me. Just be with Me. It’s about relationships and not religion. Do not let your mind settle on things of men, instead of the things that are of Me. You deny yourself when you surrender yourself to Christ and are determined to obey His will. This year I want you to live as an others-centered person and follow in My son’s footsteps. Dying to self will give you a resurrection life. Walking with Jesus brings you a life of power and glory.
What this said to me was God just wants me to spend time with Him, enjoying Him, getting to know Him, and this will build my relationship with Him. I need to just believe.
I love this commentary, Kathy. It encapsulates a lot of what I have been thinking about in the first part of this year and going forward in the next season of my life. These lines jumped off the screen:
You need to believe and not perform. I want you to embrace and enjoy Me. I want you to live with Me. Just be with Me. It’s about relationships and not religion.
Believe and not perform. I really needed that and I pray the Holy Spirit will bring this to fruition in all our lives this year and in the years ahead. May we just enjoy God and in the pleasure of experiencing Him, may we find and express real joy in our lives.