Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.” So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” (Mar 8:14-21 NKJ)
Not five-thousand, or four-thousand, just thirteen, and one loaf. What they should have done was to pray over the loaf, believing and break it into thirteen portions, with some left over. However, they sat in the boat arguing. Jesus warns them against becoming hard-hearted like the Pharisees, seeing but not seeing, hearing but not hearing.
Having a hard heart will keep faith out. Faith wants to grow from strength to strength.
October 16, 2017. Gospel of Mark
About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.” His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” “Seven loaves,” they replied. So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to his disciples, who distributed the bread to the crowd. A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to distribute them. They ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. There were about 4,000 people in the crowd that day, and Jesus sent them home after they had eaten. (Mar 8:1-9 NLT)
Does anyone have a spare $16,000, that’s what it would cost to buy a McDonald’s Big Mac for 4000 people. Now I am not sure they could handle that size order, and then you got those people that don’t want pickles, some don’t want ketchup—way too difficult. So, I fully understand the concerned expressed by the disciples. They found seven loaves and a few fish, prayed over them and blessed them. Jesus gave a portion to each of the disciples and sent them out. Each disciple feed would have feed 350 people, and when they finished they still had the same portion that Jesus first gave them, plus there were seven baskets of left-overs—how can this be?
If you take what the Lord gives you, plus faith, you will see miracles happen. If you wait until you have excess before you do something, you will never have enough—faith is the missing ingredient.