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“Then His disciples answered Him, ‘How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?’”—Mark 8:4 (NKJV)
Have you ever forgotten something you never thought you’d forget? Have you surprised yourself by what you’re capable of not remembering? Are you having a hard time recalling how this devotion started? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re in for some encouragement because we’re going to see the disciples forget something nobody should ever forget.
At this point, Jesus had been followed by a massive crowd for three days. There were about four thousand men in this multitude, and if we factor in the women and children that must have also been present, it’s safe to put this crowd at about ten thousand people. Jesus anticipated hunger would soon be a major issue, and He knew the people were too far from home to return to feed themselves. He wanted to feed them and shared this with His disciples, who then asked, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”
If you’ve been following along thorough the Book of Mark, you know it was only a couple of chapters ago that something similar happened. Back in Mark chapter six, Jesus was also being followed by a multitude that had up to five thousand men, which means there were likely two to three thousand more people in that gathering than this one. And in that instance, we saw how Jesus took five loaves and two fish and miraculously multiplied them into enough food to fully satisfy everyone!
Think about this: The disciples had already seen Jesus miraculously feed a larger group of people. So, why then would they question Him about feeding this gathering? Because they forgot what Jesus could do! Now, they didn’t “forget” as though that moment was completely wiped away from their memories. They remembered it, but as something in the rear-view mirror. They lost touch with the reality that with Jesus, nothing is impossible!
All of us can relate to this forgetfulness to some extent. The Lord moves in a mighty way, we say we’ll always remember it, time passes, new challenges arise, and before we realize it, we’ve forgotten what the Lord is capable of and doubt sets in. That’s what we’re all prone towards as fallen human beings. We forget the things about God we never should, just as the disciples did. But watch how Jesus responds: “He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ And they said, ‘Seven’” (Mark 8:5 NKJV).
Despite their forgetfulness and doubt, Jesus doesn’t skip a beat. He asks the question that would lead to the next miraculous meal. This is a powerful reminder that even when we fall into that place the disciples had here, it doesn’t prevent the Lord from working. He moves ahead and invites us along to experience the next adventure in Him. Remember, His purpose is greater than our forgetfulness.
Pause: What lesson can be taken from the disciple’s forgetfulness here?
Practice: Think about ways you can be more diligent to remember the things you should never forget about God.
Pray: Lord, please deepen my awareness of You and Your work in my life. Help me to remember better!
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.