Did the Disciples Have Short-Term Memory Loss
Have you ever found yourself in a situation similar to what you have faced in the past? And when you get to that similar situation that God helped you through the last time, your faith seems small? I know I have. Similar situations come up and I forget how God has helped me in the past. When a mammogram showed a lump in my right breast, I worried and forgot how God helped me through a similar situation with my thyroid just months prior. I come upon a dilemma with one of my boys and think the world must be ending. But it happened before. God got us through. The world didn't end. Jobs change. I worry. I forget how God always provided for us. I know I need to have faith. I wondered if I was the only one that kept doubting every time a rough patch showed up. Then I read about the disciples journey in Mark. It made me giggle and I realized I was in the company of some great men that tended to respond the way I do. And Jesus loved them anyway.
In Mark 10 we find the scriptures telling us of the time Jesus saved the disciples from a bad storm. They went out on the lake with Jesus, who was tired from healing and preaching all day. He fell asleep with his head on a pillow. The waves beat the boat and the disciples were very afraid. They woke Jesus up, yelling “Don't you care about us? We are going to drown!” Jesus told the storm “Quiet. Be still!” The wind stopped and the lake became still. Jesus asked His chosen men, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They asked in wonder, “What kind of man is this?”
The disciples survived the storm and spent many more days going about with Jesus, seeing His miracles. He freed a man from evil spirits. He healed a women that had been bleeding for 12 years. He healed Jairus' daughter; and taught in the synagogues. He sent the disciples out on their own journey; giving them power over evil spirits. They saw the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 from 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish which ended in 12 baskets of left overs. And that was 5,000 men. I am sure there were women and children that needed to eat as well. The chosen men of Jesus got to see miracle after miracle. That's why the next part of the scripture made me laugh and realize these men were human. Like me. Like you. And they needed to be reminded of Jesus' power even though they got to physically witness it in their lives.
In Mark 10:45-52 we see the recorded event of Jesus walking on water. They were all tuckered out after another long day. Jesus tells the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side of the lake. He would come later. They left and Jesus went into the hills to pray. Jesus, alone on the land, could see the boat in the middle of the lake. He could also see the disciples struggling to row against the great winds. Between 3-6 am, “Jesus went out to the boat, walking on the water.” Verse 49 tells us He continued until He was almost past the boat. I always missed that part of the story. He almost went past the boat! Of course, it was strange to be in the middle of the lake and see someone walk past, so the disciples were afraid and thought He was a ghost. In verse 50, Jesus tells them “Don't worry! It's Me!” He jumped in the boat and the wind stopped. The disciples could not believe what happened. Really? Come on disciples. Jesus saved you from a storm before this. It wasn't the first time you saw Him calm the wind and the waves. Did you already forget?
In Mark 8 we find Jesus and the disciples with a big crowd of hungry people again. Jesus wanted to feed them. The disciples complained. “But we are far away from any towns. Where can we get enough bread to feed all these people?” Really, disciples? Did you already forget the feeding of the 5,000? Why didn't they just say “Jesus, you can feed the 4,000 like you did the 5,000! Here, have a loaf of bread and do your thing!” But they didn't. They forgot and complained. So Jesus feed those 4,000 with 7 loaves of bread and some fish. And had 7 baskets of leftovers.
And can you believe what happens next?! The disciples get on the boat with Jesus and they are complaining about only having one loaf of bread for the journey because they forgot to bring more. Verse 14, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Do you have eyes that can't see?” Jesus goes on in verse 19 and 20, reminding the disciples that He had recently feed the 5,000 and 4,000. He ends with, “You remember these things I did, but you still don't understand.”
And I do exactly that. I rarely remember the things He saved me from in the past. I still don't understand enough about His power. I forget to face similar circumstances with the memory of who Jesus is. What He did for me last time. What He did for others. I look at my dilemma and complain like the disciples did. But He still helps me. He still loves me. And He reminds me of what He has done.