You only need ONE!
And he left them (the Pharisees who were debating him), got into the boat again, and went to the other side. Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. 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?
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Mark 8:13-21
Nowhere in this Gospel are the disciples treated more harshly by Jesus. You get the sense that a sense of urgency may be building and that something is about to change.
First, we turn to the bread incident. The disciples are distracted because they forgot bread for the trip, and they had only one loaf to split between at least thirteen people. Jesus’ response is about tainted yeast that can ruin the bread. They have been dealing with Pharisees’ doubt and anger, and the Herodians (likely Sadducees who seem to be okay with Hellenization and cozying up to Rome), and this can taint the disciples’ perspective. Their response is to still obsess about the single loaf!
Jesus whacks them. Really?! Are you still focused on the bread!? Are your
heads hearts really that hard? Then he drops a bomb; a portion of Ezekiel 12:2: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. Notice on either side of what he says are statements that he, the Son of Man, is surrounded by a rebellious house. It seems that that house is full of Pharisees, Sadducees (Herodians), and his own disciples.
Jesus then returns to the bread incident. Don’t you remember the two mass feedings? You had a small amount, yet I fed thousands. Sure they remember, but they still don’t get it! Jesus is saying:
You only need One!
The disciples have a blind spot, which is obviously foreshadowing not one but two healings of blind men.
Thank you for being so patient with us. Too often, we just don’t seem to get it, but you never give up on us. Please help us to see that only true Author of LIFE, the UNIVERSE, and EVERYTHING is still active in our lives today. You are our “42”!
I pray this in the name of the one true Bread from Heaven. Amen!