Mark 8:1-10: Learning from the past.

“During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.’ His disciples answered, ‘But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?’ ‘How many loaves do you have?’ Jesus asked. ‘Seven,’ they replied. He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterwards the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, 10 he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.” NIV UK

This is not the same story we have read before (6:30-44), but it is similar. If you take time to compare and contrast you will see where they come together and where they diverge. There is a difference in some of the details. Here, then, is the point: do we learn from the past? We are used to the idea of learning from our mistakes, but will we learn from our successes? The disciples had been here before and Jesus had used them as ‘distributors’ of abundant blessing. Could He not do the same again?

It seems they had short-term memories. But not to be overly critical, of whom do they remind you?!