Hard to Grasp

rubikHave you ever tried to teach someone something and the concept or idea is just lost on them? Someone once tried to teach me how to complete a Rubik’s Cube. First, he showed me how he could do it (which I thought was impressive) and then he tried to explain the theory behind how it works. I felt confident that with his instruction and demonstration I could complete the puzzle, so after a number of failed attempts I simply gave up. Still to this day, I am lucky if I can match one colored face on the cube, and I am ok with that.

“Do you still not understand?” These are the words of Jesus found in Mark 8:21. Jesus was talking to his disciples and the intent of the question goes far beyond the moment of not having any bread to eat. The written words on a page have some limitations as to how we perceive Jesus’ emotions when he asked this question. When you take the time to read the first seven chapters of Mark and see all the things that Jesus has done (driving out impure spirits, healing people, forgiving people, raising a girl from the dead, feeding thousands, etc.) I feel like I can say that He might have felt some level of frustration as he tried to teach the disciples. When I read this question I see it from this perspective, “Do you not yet know who I am?”

I am tempted to say that we have a much better picture of who Jesus is today, but when I think of the disciples being by his side and witnessing the incredible miracles he performed I wonder if we really do? When Jesus came into this world, He became the same as us, flesh and blood. The divine person of Jesus Christ took on our human nature. Through His divine nature we see throughout the book of Mark and the other Gospels evidence of His power and glory. One of the things that helps me connect with knowing who Jesus is as our Saviour is to remember that He walked on the very same earth that I live on, he breathed the very same air that I breathe. It is by faith that I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. it is through His word that I can learn and know more about Him.

Immediately: im·me·di·ate·ly /iˈmēdēətlē/.

timeWe all have an expectation when it comes to time. There are many things in life that we have come to expect with a sense of immediacy. For example, if your waiting more than a second or two for your webpage to load or your search results to return you might be prone to wonder if there is something wrong. What about instant messaging? We send a message, we can see that it was delivered (sometime we can even see when it was read) and for whatever reason we expect a message to come back right away, after all it is supposed to be instant.

The one part of the story of Mark that continues to astound me is when Jesus calls his disciples, “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him”. The “at once” can also be translated immediately. Simon and Andrew are two fishermen who dropped their nets and followed Jesus, just like that. We see it again when he calls James and John, “without delay” … these guys left their dad in the boat and followed Him. When I consider these accounts of obedience in God’s call on their lives and their immediate response I think about the significance and priority of the message they were called to teach and preach.

Jesus goes from place to place calling people to follow Him, He displays his majesty and power so that people will believe in Him. He has the power to change peoples lives on the spot. The question I ask myself is is this: how am I living out my calling today? Do I do things for the Lord without delay or at once? These are difficult questions and honestly I think I can do better at listening to what the Lord is calling me to do and follow through on it sooner. Sometimes we really wish that our efforts would produce results in an instant, we can all think of that “lost” person who if they only found Jesus right now would be so much better off. God’s timing in all of life can’t be forgotten; we work in different realities of time and through His leading and in His time He will use us to accomplish His will.