Mark 6:6b-8:21, Proverbs 2
Mark’’s Gospel emphasizes a number of themes, one of them being “discipleship failure.” Today’s reading plainly highlights this theme. Jesus multiplies bread to show kindness to the crowds but incidentally challenges His’ disciples lack of faith in the process for desiring to send the crowds away (Mark 6:37-44). These future apostles show their lack of understanding in more transparent ways. When Jesus performs a near identical miracle after the disciples respond to Jesus’ call to help feed another large crowd by stating the logistical problems of such a demand. Jesus will later rebuke the disciples for not understanding how He is able to provide a superior bread and is a superior provider of bread than the Pharisees. But why point out discipleship failure? Interestingly, the reason we have our Gospels is that these very disciples either wrote or empowered others to pass down the good news about Jesus. They wouldn’t have made stories up about their abject failure unless these events happened and mattered in teaching future students (aka disciples). All disciples will need to learn Jesus’ patience with us, not to mention that He alone is the hero of this story. There are more reasons they highlight discipleship failure, but there also more blog posts to consider this theme.