“Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember?”
– Mark 8:18 [HCSB]
There is a distinct contrast between God’s faithfulness and man’s forgetfulness. I believe it’s easy for us to be forgetful because we don’t have the benefit of eternity. God knows the end from the beginning, but not so with us. We occupy time and space in a limited format, where the past to us is the past. Therefore we seldom look back at our recent history to draw insight and inspiration from, especially when hampered by the present pressures of life. This is not because we’re neglectful but, once again, because we’re human. The instances we encounter are so real to us at the moment that it’s easy to forget or disregard God’s previous dealings. Consider the feeding of the 5,000; this is the first time the disciples have seen anything of this magnitude. It’s entirely possible their minds brought to remembrance the teaching of the Rabbis concerning the manna from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness. However, the learning and miraculous demonstration are disregarded while they rowed their boats, battling the waves from the storm on the sea. Yet this is precisely my point; in the moment of fighting for their lives, it was easy not to consider what Jesus did the day prior. Likely, this is because all their emotions and senses focused on the task at hand, survival.
Often this is our struggle; we work so hard to make it to the next day, next week, or the next year that it becomes easy to overlook times the Lord has made a way previously. This is exactly where we find the disciples in this passage. Their eyes, up until this point, have seen some miraculous things. Their ears heard some heavy sayings that gave them plenty to ponder. Somehow, out of everything they had seen and heard, they didn’t consider Jesus’ ability concerning their situation. Another human trait is to see the Lord do for others and not reckon that God can do the same for you. The Scriptures reveal that the disciples had forgotten to take the bread and were distressed. After, perhaps a moment chiding themselves for poor planning, they discussed where and how they would get bread. However, in their ship, in their very midst, was the God-man who had supernaturally fed the multitude on two separate occasions. Why couldn’t they believe that this same Jesus who provided for strangers would surely provide for His followers?
Dear child of God, this is why the Scriptures often speak of remembrance or the purpose of reminding the people of God. Life’s perplexities can be so severe and jarring, capturing our sensibilities so powerfully that all that God has done for us becomes forgetful due to the severity of our ordeal. Nevertheless, just as Jesus reprimands the disciples, He also admonishes us of the same principle that nothing has changed. “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.” Dates and seasons may vary, but God and His ability do not change. His concern and care for you endure the flux of time and extenuating circumstances. God may have met a need for you today, but remind your tomorrow that God will be God there as well. Let us not be as forgetful as the disciples. Let us be guilty of using the spiritual insight afforded us by the word of God to retain in our memory the miraculous power of God. Remember, what He’s done for others, He’ll do the same for you because God is a faithful God.