Today's verse is Mark 6:52: "...for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened." Jesus' desire for all people is for us to see his true identity. He wants us to know that he is God in human flesh, the one who has come to forgive us of all our sins and give us the gift of eternal life. He wants to fill our hearts with his grace, love, mercy and kindness. He wants our selfish hearts to be transformed into hearts of servanthood, ones where our desire is not to be served by to serve others.
With his earthly disciples, his miracles were to show his identity as God's only Son. Also, he wanted them to believe he was ushering in God's kingdom. They had seen him still one storm they were in, calming their fears (Mark 4:40). At that moment they had asked the key question: "Who is this that even the wind and sea obey him?" They had seen him feed five thousand men, probably over then thousand people, with five loaves and two fish. That was followed by Jesus coming to them in the middle of the night while they fought furiously against a strong headwind in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, walking on water, entering the boat, once again calming the storm. Though they were once again astounded by his miraculous power, they didn't understand his divine nature.
If Mark is giving us Peter's perspective on these events (as many scholars believe), he comments here how they had not grasped the meaning of the loaves. They didn't understand this event. They didn't understand who Jesus was. Their hearts were hardened.
Is your heart hard toward God? If so, back in your life and remember all the ways God has provided for you. Remember the miraculous. Remember his gracious hand that has guided you in times you didn't see at the moment but, in looking back, you now know it was God. How can your hearts remain hardened when you reflect over all God's goodness to you.
Also, remember that the greatest miracle in the universe is the resurrection of Jesus. When we examine the facts around it, how can we not believe who he said he is? That miracle especially is supposed to drive us to confess that Jesus is Lord of the universe.
Let God plow your hard heart into a soft heart, filled with his goodness, love, power and strength. Let him then plant seeds of care, service and life into you, life like you've never had it before! Resist a hard heart toward God. It's a very dangerous condition.
May the love of Jesus fill you today!