When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread?
The disciples had just experienced a food miracle – in fact, they had doled it out. But that was ‘eons’ ago, and then it was over. They were rushing on to the next “new and greatest” thing. Caught up in all the chosen few happenings, they had forgotten bread. Oops. And now Jesus is talking about bread.
Surely, he’s upset with them for forgetting.
Surely, this is about food for this hungry body.
Surely, they’re outta luck with this one.
… Isn’t it always about what we don’t have?
And now they were discussing among themselves – again – what they thought Jesus was saying. Worried? Preoccupied? Guilty?
“Oh you of little faith…how is it you don’t understand?”
“You of little faith …”
Was he calling them names? Chiding them? Finally ready to give up on their thick, dull-headed brains?
No, Jesus doesn’t do that, anymore than I would call my 5th grade students stupid idiots. But, I can’t help but see myself as a teacher in this passage – exasperated, impatient, amazed (in not a good way).
Is that what Jesus was feeling? Or is that WAY to human to assume? Yet he did get righteously angry at least once, right?… hmm.So what about now?
… Is He righteously peeved?
And, how is it that my heart immediately hears His voice as exasperated??
Isn’t it just as likely (or more so, actually) that it sounded a little sad? Or perhaps it was said with a smile encrusted chuckle? And how ’bout the possibility that His voice held the vibrant tone of blatant, brazen, forgiving love?
Seriously, Jane, He did that at least once too… right? (Is it possible to give yourself an eyeroll!?)
And what about the “little” faith?
…Little faith in the way they thought he would react?
…Little faith in that they were only thinking of their stomachs again?
…Little faith in that they were talking among themselves again rather than taking all their thoughts straight to Him?
Jesus is so much more patient with us than we can ever imagine.
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.” (Matthew 12:20)
A bruised reed.
… through to victory!
Lord, I want to know you well enough to hear the sound of your voice, the inflection, the heart behind the words … I don’t want a text-like relationship that trades emoticons for the real thing. And Lord knows (oh wait, that’s you!), You know I need just as much ‘pass-the-bread’ faith as these motley fishermen-turned-followers did. So, thank you, Jesus. Thank you for your patient voice… your loving voice. The voice that says, “oh you of little faith I haven’t given up on you,” … I hear it sweetly now.