Jesus asked them: "Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?

Here we see the incredible patience of the Teacher in the face of slow students! This is becoming a familiar refrain. Same song, second verse!

We are tempted to be critical of them. We puzzle over their lack of comprehension. Aren’t they eyewitnesses of His power? Don’t they sit in His classroom every day?

Sorry to report. We have the same tendency.

So, what’s causes this closed-mind, growth-stunting phenomenon?

We might deny it, but the problem is at some level we think we basically already know all we need to know. Think about it for a moment…

Our tendency is to reject new ideas. Especially when, at first glance, they seem to contradict our current understandings! This is how what we know keeps getting in the way of what we need to know.

But good students don’t immediately reject a new concept because it doesn’t seem to fit neatly into their current views at first. They keep an open mind. They inquire how it might be possible to accommodate a new idea.

To do this, it’s helpful to start by doing the opposite of our natural inclination. Assume the new concept may be true! Then ask how that would modify the truth we already hold that seems to now contradict it.

Often we discover our former view of truth is not violated at all, but rather refined by the new idea! This is the nature of Truth and this is how we gradually come to greater truths!

But surely not with closed minds! And as we see here, not even in the presence of the Teacher!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, we are amazed at the disciples lack of understanding - and we tend to point fingers... but how many of us would hear "O you of little faith" or "do you still not seee or understand" if Jesus was speaking directly (physically) to us today.

    Hard hearts, closed minds - seem to be synonymous.

    Yet in a way, this reading brings some level of comfort and connection. Even in the little details.

    Jesus "sighed deeply" - makes him seem more human, helps me relate. He is the Son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Messiah, the prefect man, and still human.

    The disciples, are thinking about physical things rather than spiritual: Physical bread rather than the "yeast of the Pharisees." While they miss the point, they are in the presence (physically) of the Teacher and still make the same mistake I often make.

    They eventueally figured some things out - maybe there's still hope for me to be able to change my way of thinking to more of a spiritual level! It's a daily struggle - to be more spiritually minded.