Now as I was meditating on this lately, I was thinking about the logistics of feeding around 15,000 people! If one person was dishing all the food, it would take a VERY long time to serve all. In fact, it would have been impossible for Jesus to feed all of those people alone. So others were involved in the multiplication of the loaves and fish.
After the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and instructed them to go to the other side of the lake and he would disperse the people and spend time with God. When Evening had come, Jesus saw the disciples in the boat straining against a storm – the sea was raging. Jesus began walking on the water and when the disciples saw him coming, they cried out in fear. So Jesus came to them in the boat, and the winds ceased and the waters calmed. Now here, to me, was the most interesting commentary. Verses 51 and 52 says, “Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52) For they had NOT UNDERSTOOD about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”
Hardness of heart comes from a number of avenues. One is when we are active participants in miracles, yet continue to question God’s favor on our lives. I know about hardness of heart! I honestly struggle with this condition. I can be an active participant in God’s miracle healing, yet when attacked with sinus troubles, doubt the finished work of Jesus concerning my healing! I watch how God supernaturally provides a ticket for me to get to Kenya, then begin to stew and worry about how I can fix the ceiling in my house when I arrive. I know very well about hardness of heart.
How do we deal with hardness of heart? First, we have to consider the loaves and the fish. We have walked in the supernatural! Yet, when facing need of any kind, we fail to consider the miracles and the manifestations of God’s favor. In Romans 4, Paul speaks of the faith of Abraham. In verses 19-21, he writes “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20) He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21) and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform”. Here we see that Abraham “did not consider” his body. When you look at the original Greek, you find the literal actually says that Abraham had fully understood his body was dead, but was fully convinced of God’s promise! In the Mirror Bible, this passage reads, “Abraham’s faith would have been nullified if he were to take his own age and the deadness of Sarah’s womb into account. His hundred year old body and Sarah’s barren womb did not distract him in the least! He finally knew that no contribution from their side could possibly assist God in fulfilling his promise! 20) While he had every reason to doubt the promise, he did not hesitate for a moment but instead empowered by faith confidence, he continued to communicate God’s opinion. 21) Abraham’s confidence was his dress-code; he knew beyond doubt that the power of God to perform was equal to his promise.”
This is powerful! Hardness of heart persists when we think we have to assist God in fulfilling His covenant to us! When God gave the promise to Abram, He changed his name to Abraham. Abraham was not a nice name – it was a meaningful sentence! It was a confession of faith authority, against all odds! Every time he introduced himself, it was a bold declaration of God’s promise – calling him “the father of the multitudes.” Abraham understood his body was dead – he was too old to have kids! But, he considered God’s promise did not require any assistance from him to come to pass! GLORY!
What has God promised you? We need to know beyond all doubt that the power of God to perform is equal to his promise! There is nothing we can do to make it happen – we need to enter into the rest of faith, that outside of our ability or assistance, God will take care of His Word to perform it!