Are our hearts too hard to see?


“And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” Mark 6:51-52 (Read Mk. 6:30-56; cf. Jn. 6:1ff.; Mt. 14:13ff; Lk. 9:10ff.)

Should we be fearful when trouble comes our way, or should we be amazed when Jesus meets all our needs?

Jesus’ disciples were fearful when caught in a storm as they rowed their boat across the Sea of Galilee. And, when Jesus, who walked to them on the water, entered the boat and the winds stopped, they were amazed. Why? Because they hadn’t considered and grasped the miracle they had just seen: the feeding of more than 5,000 with a few small loaves. Their hearts were hardened and they failed to recognize who Jesus is and to trust in Him, the Bible tells us.

What about us? Are our hearts hardened? Are we fearful when we have bills to pay and not enough to pay them? When we become sick or face death? When troubles come? Or storms? Or threats of war and unrest?

Do we look at things with our hearts hardened? Or do we remember who is with us always, even to the end of the world (Matt 28:20)? Do we say, on the basis of hardened hearts, “What are they among so many?” (John 6:9), or do we give thanks and leave the rest to our God and Savior?

Do we not realize that Jesus is God the Son in human flesh? He created all things with His almighty Word, and there is nothing too hard for Him (John 1:1ff.; Jer. 32:17). He fed thousands with a few loaves and fish. He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, cleansed lepers, made the lame whole, and even raised the dead. When He tells us not to worry but seek first His kingdom (Matt. 6:25ff.), should we be afraid? Should we be full of doubts and fears?

And when He intervenes and grants us help, healing, strength, and all that we need, do we see and recognize His helping hand? Or are we astonished and surprised when we do see Him at work?

Have we considered what He did for us on the cross? Do we doubt that atonement has been made for all our sins and forgiveness won? Do we doubt that He gives us to partake of His sacrifice for us in the Lord’s Supper? That all our sins are washed away and we become God’s children through our baptism?

Consider the price He paid. Consider that our redemption is finished, as He said (John 19:30). Consider that when we trust in Him, we are “accepted” and “have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:6,7).

O Spirit of God, open our hearts and minds to see Jesus, to recognize Him for who He is, and to trust in Him and all He has done for us. Grant that our hearts not be hardened but accepting and trusting of the truth. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]