Friday, March 21, 2014 4:17 AM

Hardened Hearts

Friday, March 21, 2014 4:17 AM
Friday, March 21, 2014 4:17 AM

Mark6.52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

They are not only “completely amazed,” but they are bereft of understanding and “their hearts were hardened.” Hardened hearts last appeared at the synagogue in Capernaum when Jesus healed the man with a deformed hand (3:5). There it occurred with reference to ostensible “outsiders” — members of the synagogue, Pharisees, and Herodians; here it occurs of “insiders,” of Jesus’ own disciples. Mark again (3:20–21) reminds us that faith is not an inevitable result of knowing about Jesus, or even of being with Jesus. Faith is not something that happens automatically or evolves inevitably; it is a personal decision or choice. In the Gospel of Mark it is more often than not a decision that must be made in the face of struggle and trepidation. Discipleship is more endangered by lack of faith and hardness of heart than by external dangers (3:5; 4:41; 5:17).[1]

In storms, adversities, and defeat, human self-sufficiency is revealed for what it is — human insufficiency. When the defenses of human pride are breached, people sometimes see God’s presence among them—even if it at first appears in troubling and perhaps terrifying ways.[2]

There is no neutral encounter in the Bible. There is also no neutral encounter with God’s word. Whenever someone doubts, their heart is hardened. Doubt creates hardness of heart and when someone says they are not sure of the Bible and the God of the Bible, they will inevitably harden their own heart to further revelation. An open an unrebellious heart finds God not a doubting and defiant heart.


[1] Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (200–201). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.

[2] Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. The Pillar New Testament commentary (201). Grand Rapids, Mich; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.

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