Right after Jesus fed the four thousand, the perpetually hungry disciples noticed that they had only one loaf with them in the boat, and this actually concerned them. They were wondering how they would eat! The Bread of Life sat in the boat with them; the One who provided bread in the desolate places.
Here Jesus was, trying to explain the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, and the disciples didn’t inquire further. They wanted bread. Where could they get bread? Bread, bread, bread.
Jesus was exasperated by their blindness and was not having it (Isn’t it good to know that exasperation, like anger, is not a sin? How we respond afterward is what matters). Did you notice the battery of questions Jesus asked the disciples verses 17 through 21?
Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread?
Do you not yet perceive or understand?
Are your hearts 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 broken pieces did you take up?
And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?
Do you not yet understand?
How could Jesus’ own followers be so incredibly blind? But here’s the mercy: Jesus didn’t leave them in their blindness. He inquired, He redirected, He challenged, He prompted them to remember, remember, remember what He had already done in front of their very eyes.
Then Jesus healed a blind man, not just for his benefit, but for His disciples’. Jesus didn’t just say, “be healed.” Jesus took the man away from the village, spit and placed the saliva on His hand, and touched the man’s eyes. Notice that in the dialogue recorded with the blind man, Jesus also asked him a question: “Do you see anything?” (8:23).
The man couldn’t see clearly. Sight came in stages. Jesus had to wipe the man’s eyes again. And, in keeping with the Messianic secret, Jesus sent the now- sighted man straight home, away from the villagers who brought him to Jesus.
We might be touched by Jesus and still not recognize Him for who He is. We might have an incomplete picture. We may forget how He just provided for us.
It’s going to happen. Jesus won’t let us stay in a state of blindness; He came to bring sight to the blind. He will redirect, challenge, and prompt us—through His Word, His Spirit, and His people—to forget not His benefits.
Read the first five verses of Psalm 103 and reflect on how God has forgiven, healed, redeemed, crowned, and satisfied you. Circle the words that resonate.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.