By Nancy Stevens
Today's Scripture: Matthew 15:29-16:12
Central Thought: Remembering how God has helped us in the past will encourage us, strengthen our resolve, and build our faith as we face each new trial.
The disciples seemed to have forgotten so quickly. Jesus had healed "the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others" (Matthew 15:30), but when He wanted to feed a crowd of thousands, His disciples responded, "'Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?'" (v. 33, NIV). They had only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish.
Once again, Jesus did the miraculous and fed the multitude. As if to reinforce the lesson, Jesus had the disciples pick up the leftover food, and it filled seven basketfuls.
As Jesus and the disciples were crossing the lake, He warned them to be on their guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees (16:6). The disciples immediately assumed that Jesus was referring to their not bringing bread along with them. However, Jesus was speaking of the teaching of the self-righteous leaders.
"Do you still not understand?" He asked them (verse 9). He reminded them that He had earlier fed over five thousand people with five loaves, and now He had fed over four thousand people with just seven loaves. Why would Jesus be concerned that they did not have any bread with them?
Before we judge the disciples too harshly, perhaps we should ask ourselves, "When a seemingly impossible situation occurs, do I remember all the times Jesus helped me to triumph in a previous trial or worked a miracle on my behalf?"
Devotional Prayer: Father, when we face a challenging situation, help us to remember all the times You have helped us and worked on our behalf. Please give us the grace and faith to trust You now.
Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 48:1-:33; Matthew 15:29-16:12; Psalm 20:1-9; Proverbs 4:20-27