Mark 8:13-21 God’s Mentality About Money
The loaves and fishes event teaches us a lesson on God’s provision. It is clear that the disciples never learned the lesson about God’s provision. Why? Jesus had to remind them on two different occassions.
After the feeding of the FOUR thousand (and that is a different event than the feeding of the FIVE thousand), Jesus and the disciples went on a boat trip to Dalmutha, which was on the west side of Lake Galilea. Once there, they meet a few Pharisees who ask for signs and miracles. Jesus says to quit looking for signs and miracles and He and the disciples go back to the other side of the lake. Of course, someone from the disciples forgot to go shopping.
Jesus takes the time to warn them about the attitudes of the Pharisees. (There is a reason for this. The disciples are starting to act like Pharisees.) But then look at the next verse:
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”
(Mark 8:16 NKJV)
Underline the word “reasoned”. The word is “dialogizomai”, which is where we get our word “dialogue”. It means to discuss, deliberate, dispute, reckon, reflect and consider. In other words, they talked about it to death. I think this was a polite way of saying, they spent all kinds of time discussing, arguing, and disputing about the bread.
Why didn’t you buy it?
I was busy getting the boat ready. That was your job by the way.
Why didn’t we get it at the bakery when it opened?
What type of bread did we need to get?
You know, Judas can’t handle yeast. And Peter don’t like seeds in his bread.
We are out in the middle of the lake. It is your fault that we are starving now.
Can you imagine these discussions. I can. What does Jesus say to all this?
But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?
(Mark 8:17 NKJV)
Jesus’s question is the core reason they spent time discussing. Jesus’ accusation is damning. The disciples still argue about money, food, and lack of provision. Why were they still doing this? Jesus reminded them of the FOUR thousand and the FIVE thousand feeding events. They never learned the lesson about God’s provision. Let me share with you the difference.
HUMAN MENTALITY: SCARCITY
Definition: Smallness of quantity, or smallness in proportion to the wants or demands; deficiency defeat of plenty; penury; as a scarcity of grain; a great scarcity of beauties; a scarcity of lovely women.
Picture: Money is like a pie cut into different pieces.
When you think about money and God’s provision in terms of scarcity, there is a limited amount of pie. Once all of the pieces are gone, you have no more provision. We even describe allocation of money in pie charts.
GOD’S MENTALITY: ABUNDANCE
Picture: Money is like a bowl that overflows.
God fills the bowl and everyone has enough. After God has provided for everyone, there is still enough left over. God always provides just enough, and then some. God will never leave you in debt. God will never stop providing.
KEY: To change our thinking where we see God’s provision, we must have faith.
When we are follow God in faith, He shares with us His provision in abundance. We have believe that God will provide in abundance. The condition for this is that we are doing His work. When we do God’s work in God’s way, it will never lack God’s provision.Depend on it. God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.
He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and
He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.
Here are some examples of how God provides in abundance:
- God provides for His creation in abundance
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(Matthew 6:25-30 NKJV)
- God provides for the Israelites in abundance
And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.
(Deuteronomy 29:5 NKJV)
- God provides for me in abundance
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
(1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV)
Now as God provides in abundance, the portion provides for our needs to the point of satisfaction. It does not means that we will receive everything we want. God can give more than we ask and He does. Notice the difference in abundance in this passage:
THE PEOPLE – They ate and were filled (stuffed). They were filled on two fish and bread or with more. We don’t know. All we know is that after the food was passed around, everyone’s hunger was satisfied.
THE SERVANTS – They had more than enough for themselves. They each had basketfulls of food. The servants could eat and be filled, but only after they served others.
So the key to abundance for the Christian is this: You receive your abundance as you serve, and not before.
You can’t sit and ask for the provision.
You do what God tells you and He provides in abundance.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
(Matthew 6:33 NKJV)
Of course, Jesus never states WHY there were seven bowls and twelve bowls left over. But the implication is clear. God always provides what we need, and then some left over – a surplus. But only when we live by faith as a church.
If and when we start arguing and reasoning about the fact that we have no bread or money, it is because our hearts are still hardened. We have to change that attitude.