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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Fifteen)

Day Fifteen

Scripture: Mark 6:45-52

45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. 48 When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. 49 But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.


“They did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.”

Sometimes I feel like Mark is too harsh on the disciples, as he repeatedly describes them as lacking understanding of Jesus and instead becoming stumbling blocks for his ministry. If I were a disciple and saw Jesus walking on water in the storm, I would be “utterly astounded” too. What’s wrong with that? Why is it blameworthy?

First, we should understand what Mark meant by “their hearts were hardened.” I learned that "hardened" comes from the Greek root word poroo and it brings to mind an elephant's foot, heavy layers of tough skin that prevent any dexterity or feeling. Therefore, it means their “mind” was dull and slow to perceive that Jesus had the divine power to save them from the storm. They were terrified because they failed to see that Jesus was walking with them in that stormy sail.

Mark points out that their hearts were hardened because they did not understand nor remember what happened a few hours ago: how Jesus fed more than five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. They were too slow to understand that Jesus had compassion for the people for they were like sheep without shepherds and he would have compassion for the disciples in times of trials.

As I reflect on all the wonderful things God has done for me, may my heart remain open to perceive that Jesus is walking with me today.


  1. What makes your heart “hardened” and when do you experience that?

  2. How can we remain open to that Jesus could be walking with us in the most unexpected way?

Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Shepherd of My Soul

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