For they considered not [the miracle] of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Note 10 at Mr 6:52: Most of the time, we think of a person with a hard heart as being someone who is in terrible rebellion to God. While it is true that a person like that does have a hardened heart, in this instance, the Word is referring to the disciples' hearts being hardened because they were "sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered" at Jesus walking on the water.
The word "hardened," as used here, means to make calloused, unyielding or cold in spirit, or insensitive to. The disciples were not God haters, but rather they had become so sensitive to the natural world and its limitations that they were overwhelmed to see Jesus supersede these laws. Therefore, they had hardened hearts (see note 3 at Mr 8:17).
So we see that, in this case, a hardened heart was simply being more sensitive to or dominated by natural thinking than by supernatural thinking. If we use this Bible definition of what a hardened heart is, then all of us have areas where we are hardened (or insensitive) to God (see note 3 at Mr 8:17 for characteristics of a hardened heart).
Our hearts become hardened (insensitive) when we consider (think upon, study, ponder, deliberate, or meditate on) anything other than God and His ways. In this case, the disciples weren't thinking on things that were sin, such as murder, adultery, theft, etc. Their thinking was totally occupied with the storm and how they could save their lives. However, they were considering only the natural ways of deliverance. They should have been considering a miraculous deliverance since they were out on the sea in obedience to Jesus' command.
If they had kept their thinking stayed on the miracle they had just seen Jesus perform (the feeding of the five thousand), then they wouldn't have been amazed to see Jesus walking on the water toward them. After all, He had constrained them to get into the ship (see note 1 at Mt 14:22) and was therefore responsible for them. He also was just a short distance away from them and was in the same storm they were, so they knew He was aware of their situation. They should have been expecting Jesus to come and save them, even if He had to walk on the water to do it. Certainly, a man who could feed five thousand men (not including women and children) with five loaves and two fish and have more left over when He finished than when He started could walk on water too.
But their hardened hearts kept them from perceiving spiritual truths (Mr 8:17-18 and see note 3 at Mr 8:17) and kept them dominated by only natural thinking, which was completely inadequate to solve their problem.
This is the reason that people today, who know what the Word says, still don't see it work for them. They are more sensitive to fear and doubt than they are to the truths of God's Word, simply because they have thought more on things that minister fear and doubt.
We can take these laws that harden our hearts and use them in a positive way. We can actually harden our hearts to doubt by considering only God's Word. It is a possible and obtainable goal to become just as sensitive to God and faith as we have been to Satan and doubt.
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