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Are You Forgetting Something?


On Sunday’s I’ve been working through the Gospel of Matthew. Its been good for me and hopefully it has been beneficial to my listeners. I’m always intrigued by how I continue to learn from passages that I thought I was fairly familiar. Recently, I came across a “story within a story” in Matthew 16 that struck a nerve. With me anyway.

In Matthew 16:1-4 Jesus was embroiled in yet another controversy with the religious leaders. For the first time the Pharisees and Sadducees have teamed up and demanded a sign to authenticate Jesus’ claims. After he departed with his disciples, Jesus began to provide a warning to the twelve about the teaching of these religious leaders using the metaphor of leaven (or yeast). The warning flows fairly naturally to the reader, but to my surprise, the disciples missed it. They had forgotten to take bread for the journey and immediately assumed they were being reprimanded for their forgetfulness. Its at that point that Jesus pauses to express his concern for their spiritual amnesia.

“Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, ‘You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it that you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread?'” (Matthew 16:8-10, NIV)

It appears that the disciples had indeed forgotten to pack bread, but even more, they had forgotten where the bread had come from in the first place. Jesus had fed two multitudes in the period of about four months by multiplying loaves and fish, yet the disciples were concerned about the source of their next meal. With Jesus, no bread is no problem!

Before I judge the disciples too quickly, I must confess that I find myself guilty of the same forgetfulness. Too often I forget what God has done in the past. I forget that he’s always been faithful. I forget that he is able to bring anything he pleases into existence from nothing. God is faithful to me, and if I pause to give thanks and praise and count my blessings I am quickly reminded that whatever it is I face today, he is able and willing.

The size of my God may very well be in the direct proportion of my memory.

Categories : Thanksgiving

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