Mark 6:30-44 Tells about the miracle of feeding the 5,000. Can you imagine this taking place?
They participate in this miracle, passing out the food, eating the food, and gathered up twelve baskets of left overs. How many of us are amazed as we read this? The disciples didn’t get it. Even though they were right there serving, they didn’t get the amazing miracle. We see that their hearts were hardened and they did not even understand what had happened. We see a few verses later, they didn’t recognize Jesus and lacked understanding.
Mark 6:45-52 Jesus then sent them on in a boat and he went to pray. We can see that the disciples were rowing along at midnight against a wind, and completely lose it when they see Jesus walking on the water. Jesus intended to walk on by. He was just strolling across the lake to meet them on the other side, but because of their fear he went over and got in the boat. Let read what happens.
And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Mark 6:51-52 KJV
In the Message Bible it says:
Jesus was quick to comfort them: “Courage! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” As soon as he climbed into the boat, the wind died down. They were stunned, shaking their heads, wondering what was going on. They didn’t understand what he had done at the supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.
Mark 6:50-52 MSG
This miracle and all that occurred had not penetrated into their hearts.
Here we have men who have been walking with Jesus, watching him perform miracles, had gone out at his command and had performed miracles, were participants in feeding 5,000 people from five loaves and two fish. Their heart was unpenetrated and hardened. They did not understand the miracle. This tells me that even those who are busy working in the church, may allow hardness to take over their hearts. If the disciples' hearts hardened even in the very physical presence of Jesus, we are not immune to this either.
Think about a rock and sponge when you pour water on them. The rock may get wet and may even get cleaner, but the water never penetrates into the rock. A sponge not only gets wet, it is penetrated. It soaks in the water all the way through, internal effects are made. We need a heart that can be penitrates by the things of God. Like the parable of the sower who sowed his seed. Some seed fell on hard ground, some by the wayside, some in the weeds, and some on good ground. Only the seed on the good ground was able to form roots that penetrated down into the ground So nutrients could be found. Only then was the plant able to develop and grow. Only then could there be good fruit grown on the plant. Our hearts need to be good ground that takeshe in the good things of God and allows it to grow bringing for the fruit that is good.
The Bible warns about allowing our hearts to be hardened. Hardening happens when doubt, fear and complacency enter. There is temptation that takes place and may actually tempt you into an action that is sinful.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Psalms 95:6-8 KJV
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Hebrews 3:7-8 KJV
We can be aware of that hardening of our hearts may lead us back into a sinful behavior. We can choose to draw closer to God in His word, in fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters and in prayer to keep our hearts always ready to soak in the things of God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:13-15 KJV
Hardening of hearts can take us away from the very path of God. It can take us away from the presence of God to the point of being separated and unaware, unable to even understand the things of God. This will bring forth fruit that is not of God and definitely not good. This will be a fruit that is painful, deceitful, hurtful and destructive.
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Ephesians 4:18 NIV
Rather than hardening, we need keep our hearts full of the things of God. We need to fill our hearts with His word, love for others, and with praise of God alone.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:2 KJV
We can read that Mary treasured the things in her heart about what had occurred and what she saw when Jesus was born. She pondered them or thought on them. She studied it and kept it as a treasure. This led to her eventually prompting him to perform his first miracle once he reached adulthood. She believed and understood who he was because she treasured and understood the things that had occurred.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19 NIV
When we recall the goodness of God, recall His miracles, ponder them, soak them up into our hearts, we begin to understand and become filled with praise for God.. we let this treasure change our hearts. David does this in Psalms 107. He describes past events that God had done, and calls for the people to praise God. We need to begin to ponder and recall the mighty things God has done for us. Store it in our hearts, so that all we have coming out of us, is the praise of God. David would describe something God had brought Israel through, then follow it up with praise or a call for Israel to praise God.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Psalm 107:19-22 NIV
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. This means whatever has been stored up in our hearts is what we talk about and share. It is what we are passionate about. It becomes our conversation and our testimony. What has soaked in that then comes out?
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Luke 6:45 KJV
What is penetrating our hearts?
Rather than allowing a hardening, let the things of God penetrate our hearts, let them go deep and become embedded and planted into our souls. Let it be that seed that becomes fertile and brings forth fruit. Let it be what we ponder and think about, let it become our praise and our thoughts, let it become what we speaks about and what we know. Let it take over and overflow because we can speak only of the goodness of God. Let the fruit we share be the good fruit of God that those around us can taste of good fruit. May they know our fruit is good by what we say and do. Our hearts are revealed by our conversation. May the fruit it bears speak of the goodness of God and draw others to fall in love with Jesus.