Mark 8:17-21 ESV
17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.”20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
“Do you not yet understand?”
…Do I even understand?
As I read through the book of Mark one Sunday after church, I felt my pulse quicken when I came across these words. I felt a strong sense of uneasiness. Jesus is asking his disciples whether or not they have grasped who He truly is yet. It was clearly important to Him that they did, but they continued to be shocked by His works.
They were standing in front of the one and only God, the King of Kings, watching Him perform miracles with their own eyes and still they struggled to understand.
That’s when I had a daunting yet humbling thought…
Do I understand?
I’d like to think that I do, but the truth is, I know that I have not explored the extensive and complex depths of who God truly is. I know there are vast resources available to me today that could expand my understanding, yet I remain in my comfortable bubble, allowing the scholars to dig deeper while I bask in my minimal knowledge.
Why am I okay with staying comfortable in my lack of understanding when Jesus was not comfortable with the disciples not fully grasping who He is?
Laziness. That is definitely a big hurdle for many, including myself. But what is truly stopping me? Maybe it’s a fear of being unable to understand no matter how hard I try. Maybe it’s a fear of finding out things that make me question everything I thought I knew. Maybe I don’t want to face things that I know will come up once I open myself to Him more. But are any of these things real reasons? Is Jesus happy with me? What would He say to me if I were face to face with Him in my current state of knowledge? This is where I really started thinking…
When was Jesus ever happy about the disciples’ or crowds’ persistent lack of understanding in who He is and what He was doing? Why should we be comfortable with our lack of knowledge? How could we be okay with purposely not seeking the deepest level of understanding possible when there are so many resources available to us today?
Instead of shrugging His shoulders at His followers’ consistent surprise in his works, Jesus repeatedly asked them, “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8:17, 21 ESV) He was not okay with them not knowing and understanding who He truly is.
As Christians, we should seek to understand Him so that when we meet Him face to face with questions that we could have found answers to with a little bit of work on our ends, He won’t shake His head and look into our eyes and say, “Do you not yet understand?”