Devotional: Shame Shuts Your Ear
What are you listening to? In Matthew 16:5-12, Jesus wants to speak to his disciples. But the only thing they heard is that they must be in trouble for not bringing the bread. While conviction points us to the cross, shame distorts the voice of God. Conviction looks towards God. But shame focuses on our past sins and failures. Shame traps us in a state of hovering around our mistakes and shuts out the voice of God. What’s the solution? Faith. This passage shows the disciples fixating on forgetting the bread. By reminding them that He can create basketfuls of bread, Jesus instructs them not to focus on their mistake, but on the fact that He himself is the remedy to their mistake. He then repeats what He wants to tell them until they understood.
Questions For Meditation
- Matthew 16:5 says that the disciples forgot to take the bread. Yet Jesus never holds it against them. What does this mean for how Jesus deals with you in certain areas?
- Shame is small and circular. Have you circled your past sins, failures, or mistakes and made a monument to them?
- Conviction points you towards the cross, where the blood erases your sin. But shame only points back at what you did. What is the solution to feeling guilt and shame?
- Shame shuts our ears. In this passage, the disciples think Jesus is talking about forgetting the bread, but Jesus wants to address something completely different. Have you focused so much on your sins and mistakes that you misunderstood what Jesus is saying, or worse, didn’t hear Him speaking at all?
- Despite the basketfuls of bread Jesus provided them just days before, the disciples only saw their lack of bread in that moment. What does this show about our own faith, or lack thereof? What does this teach us about Jesus’ faithfulness?
- In verse 11, the disciples finally understood because Jesus circles back to tell them again. When you see that Jesus died on the cross for you and longs to speak to you again, and again, is the shame still worth hanging onto? What happens to shame in the presence of Jesus, who forgives and washes away all our guilt?
- Have you gone into the presence of Jesus enough to hear His voice and silence the voice of shame? What will you do when you are tempted by feelings of shame?