Seeing, Hearing, Remembering

Julia Downey Davis

READ : Mark 8:14-21

Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? (v. 18)

In the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life, Thomas Mitchell portrays the loyal and bumbling Uncle Billy. Because Uncle Billy struggles to remember his bank duties, he has a daily habit of tying strings on several of his fingers. The practice proves useless, though, because once the string is on his finger he fails to act on it.

Jesus expressed surprise that even after witnessing his recent miracles the disciples weren’t living according to the truth he had shown them. In diagnosing this failure to understand and apply his teaching, Jesus didn’t say the disciples were too stupid to grasp what he meant or didn’t have opportunity to learn. Instead, Jesus wondered, didn’t you see, didn’t you hear, didn’t you remember?

Perceiving the truth of God’s Word doesn’t require some remarkable aptitude on my part. My attentiveness is more essential than my intelligence. Today, the God of all wisdom wants to teach me something. I want my eyes and ears to be focused on him. Once I see and hear his truth, I want to remember and do it. How about you? Tie a string around your finger if you have to, but don’t forget to act on it.


Lord, I am looking for the truths you want to teach me today. Help me remember and apply them.