The gospel of Mark recounts the story of Jesus’ disciples panicking as their boat took on water in the midst of a great storm on the sea. Jesus rebukes the storm, and it settles down. He then rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith but with little effect. Mark says something I have found fascinating ever since I first noticed it.
Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
Whether we take the story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes as a physical miracle (the food really did multiply) or a miracle of heart (hungry people sharing what they had) seems to me to miss the point.
Faced with utter destruction on the stormy seas of life, and tempted to despair and to panic, we will keep the faith if we understand the loaves and the fishes. We will lose hard — find our hearts hardened as pharoah’s was if when we do not understand.
Now there’s a challenge.