Their Hearts were Hardened.

 51Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened..(Mark 6, 51-52).

As you see in the above verses; the disciples were completely frightened and amazed when they saw Jesus walking on the water in the middle of the night and climbing into their boat. They were even more amazed when they saw the wind and the waves becoming calm at the rebuke of Lord Jesus. But why they were amazed? It was because – their hearts were hardened. The following verses tell the whole story.

47Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 

49but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 51Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened..(Mark 6, 50-52)

Anyway, this raises another question – why their hearts were hardened?

In fact, each time when I go through the above verses, even I, myself, keep thinking the same thing – why the disciples felt so amazed about the miraculous powers of Jesus Christ and why their hearts were hardened?

Actually, these disciples were not strangers; they walked with Jesus 24×7 and assisted Him in the ministry. They had the first-hand experience with all the miracles Jesus performed. They were taught by Christ, and at times, He even gave them opportunities to get a glimpse of His divine nature.

Furthermore, when He sent them out two by two in order to preach the Gospel, He also gave them power and authority to heal the sick and cast out demons. And by this power and anointing from Christ, the disciples performed many miracles wherever they went.

As verse 12 says: they drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

7Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.8These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 

10Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12They went out and preached that people should repent. 13They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. .(Mark 6, 7-13)

But despite having so much experience with the miraculous powers of Christ, their hearts were not sensitive enough to see the real Christ. they still considered Him as an ordinary human being who, they thought, had a little bit of power, like many of the prophets, to perform miracles at times. They still thought that Jesus was just an ordinary Rabbi or a Prophet whom the people respected.

Their hardened hearts and blinded inner eyes could not recognize the divine nature of Christ; they could not comprehend the Supernatural Power of God that dwelt in Him.

In fact, prior to the walking on the lake, just a few hours earlier, Jesus had performed another indescribable miracle right in front of their eyes. He fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish.

39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 

41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 

42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.(Mark 6, 39-44)

Here, the disciples knew very well that they had only five loaves and two fish, but still they did not ponder how they had fed five thousand with those five loaves and two fish.

Actually, Lord Jesus, through His divine power, multiplied the five loaves and two fish to feed the entire crowd but the disciples could not see the miracle that they were holding in their hands – for their hearts were hardened.

Here, you might wonder:

 How can the hearts of these disciples be hardened while walking with Jesus and living under His anointing?

How can they be unaware of the divine power that dwelt in Christ while being part of His core team?

But the truth is – their hearts were still hardened and as a result they could not recognize the divine personality of Christ or comprehend the divine power that worked behind every miracle that they had witnessed.

As I mentioned earlier, in the eyes of the disciples, Jesus was an ordinary Rabbi and they considered every miracle He performed as just natural occurrences.

Well, how could they expect supernatural miracles from someone who they considered as an ordinary religious teacher?

As you know, A hardened heart is insensitive and unresponsive. People with hardened hearts neither comprehend nor take note of the things that happen around them; they respond and react like machines and the disciples too were not different. That is why they could not see the miracle behind the multiplying of the five loaves and two fish. That is why they were amazed when they saw Jesus walking on the water.

Moreover, people with  hardened hearts can also lack compassion and be insensitive to the needs of others.  For e.g. the crowds were with Jesus for the whole day, they were hungry and exhausted and the place was very remote too.

However, the response of the disciples was insensitive; they did not look for a solution to help them, instead; they wanted to send them away.

35By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” (Mark 6, 35-36)

But Jesus looked at them with compassion; he knew what they were in need at that moment and decides to feed them by multiplying the five loaves and the two fish. How can the Good Shepherded let His sheep go hungry?

41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 

42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.(Mark 6, 39-44)

Well, by now you might be feeling a bit of indignation towards the behavior of those disciples; you might even wonder – how can these guys behave like this! But the big question is:

Are we different from those disciples? Are we better than them? No!

Because, many times we too have hardened our hearts despite experiencing many miracles in our own lives. Many times, we too have failed to comprehend the divine power that worked behind every miracle that we had experienced. Though in many difficult situations the Immanuel walked with us, but we, like the disciples, still failed to recognize Him.

As a matter of fact, majority of the born-again believers are not much different from those disciples. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say – many of the Christians still walk with Christ while keeping their hearts hardened. Many of the Christians still do not fear or revere Christ as they ought to.  And this lack of fear and reverence is reflected in the way they obey Christ.

Though they call Him “LORD, LORD” they do not do what He says. They live in willful disobedience and rebellion. Their hearts are insensitive and lack compassion. They say that they love Christ but still disobey His Commandments. Lord Jesus said in John 15: if you love Me, keep my Commandments.

15“If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14, 15)

21Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14, 21)

Yes, the above words of Jesus are plain and simple, but majority of the Christians do not understand them, because their hearts are hardened. They think, their Sunday rituals are good enough to prove their love for Jesus. They ignore the Commandments of God while practising the traditions of their fathers.

Saints; this is nothing but hypocrisy; we need to be more sensitive to the voice of God.  In John 10, 27 – Jesus says:

 “My sheep listen to my voice”

 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10, 27)

Yes, if you are His sheep; you will listen to His voice.

Stay Blessed

 

 

 

 

 

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