Mark 8:18, “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”
In Mark chapter eight we read about a group of four thousand who had been with the Lord for three days (Mark 8:2). Before this group was sent away, the Lord showed forth His loving compassion and gave them food to eat. After being blessed of the Lord, what began as seven loaves and a few small fishes, was enough for the multitude to be filled and have seven baskets left. Immediately after the miracle, the Lord warned those who walked near to Him about the “leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” According to Matthew 16:12, the “leaven” represents the “doctrine” or teachings of the Pharisees, the Sadducees and of Herod. The disciples interpreted the Lord’s words as a correction for them not having “bread” when the four thousand was hungry, as though the Lord needed them to bring bread along the journey. The Lord, because He is God, knew their thoughts and asked them the three questions which are found in our study verse. Our focus in this effort will be upon the last of these three questions, “do ye not remember?”
If we turn a few pages back in our Bibles from Mark 8:18, we will find another occasion when the Lord fed a multitude. In Mark 6:31-44; Matthew 14:14-21; Luke 9:11-17; and John 6:5-14 (which is the only miracle recorded by all four Gospel writers) we read about the time Jesus fed five thousand beside the women and children. According to John 6:9, there were “five barley loaves, and two small fishes” which belonged to a lad that was in their presence. The Lord took those five loaves and two small fishes, blessed and brake them, and fed the multitude. The Bible teaches us that even after the five thousand beside the women and children were “filled”, there were “twelve baskets” which remained. By comparing this miracle to the one in Mark chapter eight, can you easily see the Lord began with more bread and fishes and fed fewer in number in the Mark chapter eight recorded miracle. How quickly did those which were there to see the feeding of the five thousand forget. The previous (miracle in Matt 14; Mark 6; Luke 9 and John 6) began with five loaves and two small fishes; the later with seven loaves and a few small fishes (which seems to be more then the two). The previous involved feeding five thousand beside the women and children (Matthew 14:21, very well could have been twelve to twenty thousand); the later was “four thousand men, beside the women and children” (Matthew 15:38). The brothers apparently had forgotten about the previous, otherwise they would not have had worry concerning the later.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the lesson in this precious portion of scripture has application for us today. How often when we face the tribulations, troubles and problems associated with this world do we forget about all the Lord has done for us and the children of God in times past. And when we forget, we began to squirm, worry and think about the “what ifs”. By remembering His miracles and rich blessings upon our life, our faith is strengthened to trust in Him and His help as we go forward. I often recall the words of the young shepherd of Israel (David) in 1 Samuel 17:37, “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” Amen!