The only thing that must disappoint us is when we stop learning and think we’ve learned all there is to know
And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “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?” (Mark 8:17–18)
So far in their travels, the disciples have seen Jesus calm a horrific storm, heal diseased and infirmed people, and command demons to leave the possessed. They have seen Jesus raise a dead girl to life, walk on water, and feed thousands with a meager amount of food. They’ve heard teaching about the kingdom and have seen Jesus live that teaching through his words and actions. Yet here are the very same people—the ones closest to Christ, the ones we would consider religious experts—still unable to grasp the identity of Jesus. Talk about lack of perception! These men watched as he touched blind eyes and made them see, and deaf ears and made them hear and still could not see the truth of who he was nor hear the truth of what he taught.1
You may have heard the term “lifelong learning.” It’s something the military emphasizes as a way to open doors of opportunity. As a Christ follower you must commit yourself to lifelong learning about him. Sisters, with our best efforts we will never understand all there is to know about God and his work, but he will teach us more and more about him as we make ourselves open to his training.
Friend, there is no shame in not understanding the fullness of God. The only thing that must disappoint us is when we stop learning and think we’ve learned all there is to know. Or if, like the disciples, we forget what we’ve already learned.2 We must be guided by the principle that the more we know him, the more we love him. The more we love him, the more we worship him. The more we worship him, the easier it is to trust his plan. The more we trust his plan, the more we want to be part of that plan.
I’ve known many long-time followers of Christ who have read through the Bible multiple times. Each time they say they understand things they did not understand before. Have you experienced this in your life yet? How?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, grant me a teachable spirit. Help me love you, know you, worship you, and live into your will. Amen.
1 Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012), 161.
2 Morna D. Hooker, The Gospel According to Saint Mark: Black’s New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009), 196.