Whew. Long passage tonight.
First off: another feeding scene. This time, I feel the feeding is slightly more, I don't know, compassionate? Maybe I'm just less cynical today. But this time the passage says that Jesus wanted to feed the people so they could get home. It wasn't just feeding people so they could continue to learn and be busy and productive. It was still for a literal need--people gotta eat--but it was more to help than to use. I mean, I suppose people have to go home so they can share what they have learned from Jesus, so maybe I'm misreading things. But it feels a little more like Jesus had them in mind, as opposed to what they would do with what He is teaching.
Then the Pharisees show up and ask for a sign, which they already had? They had 4000 witnesses to this latest miracle. But I guess you aren't allowed to ask for a sign, not like this. Goes back to faith. And the Pharisees don't have any, which I think is what is meant by the leaven of Herod and the Pharisees. They don't want to see God; they don't want miracles. They want a world they can control. And while I understand that want, I'm still willing to believe. I do believe.
Belief isn't my problem. It's the cynicism. I see a God feeding 4000 people, and see strings attached. I see needs met and assume that there is a price that comes along with that. There was a plan all along, after all. God expects Jesus to fulfill the plan. God expects me to fulfill the plan too. And the food I get is just so I can go home and do work, or continue learning, or what not. The things that I'm given aren't about me. Nothing is. And that's the point, and I need to accept that.
Am I selfish, maybe? Wanting things to make me happy? It feels like human nature. And I don't think the things I want are inherently bad. Perhaps I'm not supposed to want anything at all. Just be a compliant little puppet, staying in the lines, obediently doing what God tells me to do because I never question and never think for myself. I'm nowhere near that, and frankly, I don't want to be. I want to think. I want to know why.
Also: another healing, and another set of instructions to remain quiet. Still curious about how that relates to sharing the gospel.