Bible Reading Day 60

by markburlinson

Day 60 – Mark 8:1-21

Read online.

Good morning!
It is a constant theme through the gospels that the Pharisees are in vehement opposition to Jesus. That theme surfaces again today, in the context of a second miraculous feeding. This time Jesus feeds 4000 with seven loaves and a few fish. To our familiar eyes it seems that this is becoming a regular occurrence: no big deal right? Well the disciples must have missed that fact (not surprising when you consider that no-one had done this before and Jesus had only done it once previously).
When the inevitable conflict with the Pharisees occurs, they demand a miraculous sign to prove Jesus’ authority. Religion and power are often short-sighted; insisting on things the way the powerful/religious want them, and failing to see that God is giving those very proofs in a form they cannot accept or receive!
So again, Jesus is vexed by the hard-heartedness of the short-sighted Pharisees. Our passage tells us that He sighed deeply in His spirit! We also learn that the fastest way to stop God working is to make short-sighted demands!
On the way back across the lake (presumably to more receptive hearts) Jesus warns the disciples that a hard-hearted attitude, rooted in power and/or religious tradition, is like yeast. It works its way into our lives if we are not careful, and makes them puffed-up. Whether Herod or the religious leaders, the result of hard-heartedness is the same: opposition to God. It is an error rooted in valuing man more than God.
The disciples miss the point though, and think that because Jesus uses yeast as a metaphor He is talking about their lack of bread. They are distracted from a spiritual truth by a physical need and a natural mistake. Jesus corrects them of course, but it made me think; how often do we miss something God is teaching us because we are distracted by a human perspective (whether power, or tradition, or the simple needs of life)?
Jesus has answers for all those circumstances, but it is better to be simply mistaken rather than aggresively opposed to what God is doing!