Year 2 Day 352
Read - Mark 8:14-16 (focus v16)
Message - Alan Burke
We have all seen those signs ‘Beware of the Dog’! A few years ago now I was doing a visit at a home and told just to ignore the signs and just go round to the back door of the house, the key I was told was in the key safe and let myself in and if I had any problems I was to phone my supervising minister. Fair enough I thought. When I arrived to the house, got the key, let myself in and the next thing the dog went daft, shut the door phoned my supervising minister, he laughed and told me to open the door a crack and wait. The family had put signs up and rigged the door to a big speak that when it was opened played dog barking and only those who needed to know knew and my supervising minister just wanted a wee chuckle. If roles were reversed I’d have likely done the same.
Jesus had told his disciples to “Beware, watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and that of Herod”. When Jesus told them to ‘Beware’, and tells us ‘beware’ you’d think we’d sit up and listen. If someone you trust gives you a stern warning, tells you to ‘beware’ for whatever reason the likelihood is if you’d any sense you’d listen. Well Jesus was warning them because the leaven/yeast of the Pharisees and Herod only takes a little bit to make a big impact and theirs was unbelief, unwillingness to hear or see, their opposition to the plans and purposes of God in Jesus. Look though what we are told in v16; They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”.
Really, like come on! These guys had just been told to “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod" and they are still stuck on the bellies, if only they’d have used their loaf! After all they had been with Jesus every step of the way, unlike the Pharisees, unlike Herod they had seen, they had heard, and yet they still don’t see and hear. They had been so blatantly oblivious to what they had been witnesses off. These disciples who were worried about their lack of bread failed to hear the warning, the temporal had distracted them from the truth of who they were with. Even though they had seen Jesus feed the five thousand and the four thousand, even though they had been part of it and were told by Jesus to feed those gathered 6:36-37 & 8:3 right then and there with one loaf on the boat (8:14), they can’t see or understand.
Everything had shown to them that the Jesus they were with was and is God, for He is able to do what only God can do but they had missed it. They still hadn’t understood, their thoughts are still caught up in the material concerns, they just couldn’t see that they were in the presence of the Son of God, or rather the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod was making them blind and deaf to the truth. Sadly we are not immune to this leaven, just as these disciples weren’t. Jesus warned them and they were in the very presence of God, but proximity doesn’t mean that we are immune, it doesn’t mean that we will never fall to see or understand, it doesn’t mean we wont fall into sin, because here even though these disciples had been with Jesus, they know Jesus they are caught up in their own concerns once more. The temporal things of this life were their focus, but Jesus was anxious about their faith, the only hope in life and in death for all is Christ and His work. He calls us to put our trust in Him and in Him alone. The disciples should know that Jesus is worthy of their total faith in all that He will reveal to them in the days to come, and likewise, it is in Jesus that we must put our faith, every day, listing to the words of Jesus “beware” and that is beware of unbelief, unwillingness to hear or see what God has done for us though Jesus His Son.
Q104 What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
In the fourth petition, (which is, Give us this day our daily bread, (Matt. 6:11)) we pray, That of God’ s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them. (Prov. 30:8–9, Gen. 28:20, 1 Tim. 4:4–5)