Year 2 Day 354
Read - Mark 8:14-20
Message - Alan Burke
There are all times that we just don’t get it, that we were slow on the uptake or maybe that was just me. In my school days are remember time and time again having the teacher come up to me asking me a question more than likely because I hadn’t been listing and was raking (that means messing around). There were other times though I had been listening and the teacher would come over after everything had been explained and I had that look of ignorance on my face, the teacher would come over and ask, “what do you not understand” and by asking questions would walk you through what was taught to help you understand. This is what Jesus does here, he asks questions of the disciples to help them to understand.
It’s like as if Jesus is saying, “what are you talking about having no bread, what do you not get, you have seen it, you have experienced it, you have been blessed by it”. The short sightedness of these disciples is in a sense infuriating, they had been worried about bread, Jesus warned them about the leaven of the pharisees and of Herod, and their unbelief continues. Look at those word in verse 18 before Jesus reminds them of all that he had done before their eyes; 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?
Look back in your bibles to thee healing of the deaf and mute man in Mk 7:31-37, we thought about it a few weeks ago. There Jesus healed the man who could hear who Jesus was or the message that he proclaimed, nor could he ask Jesus in his need. The deaf and mute man, where Jesus put his fingers in his ears, and spat on his hand and touched his tongue (7:31-37).
Then if you look forward to what comes after this in 8:22-26, we’ll get to this next week, there we have some people bring a blind man to Jesus and there Jesus touched him, spat on the mans eyes and put his hands on them before he could see. This account of the disciples inability to hear or see is framed, or bookended by those who are unable to hear or see, because the point is being made that they required the work of God to be able to hear and the ability to hear. The disciples and us need very work of God though Jesus Christ to enable us to hear or see the spiritual truth. Because we are by nature blind and deaf, we are unable to see the things of God or hear his word for our hearts are hard, no actually they are stone, and we are spiritually dead. Until God works in us by the Spirit and we are able to have our eyes and our ears opened so that we can see and hear.
Jesus is challenging these disciples, as He goes on he takes them back to the issue that had caused their unbelief, bread, the one loaf that they had with them. So Jesus questions them about the leftovers from the feeding of the five thousand and the feeding of the four thousand, they are confronted with their unbelief, the point of the questioning is not demean them, but rather to bring them from their unbelief to the knowledge of the sufficiency of the one whom they were with in the boat. The closing question of Jesus to them, v21, “Do you still not understand?” This gentile retort reminds us that just because they are in close proximity to Jesus doesn’t mean that seeing and hearing, understanding the truth of Jesus doesn’t come naturally. After all these disciples were with him, they had seen and heard but they were by their nature deaf and blind to the truth.
So how’s your hearing? How’s your sight? How’s your heart? Are you coming week after week under the word and does it fill you with hope, joy, thanks, concern, pain at your sin, love, or is it indifference, even unbelief? Well Jesus asked these disciples about what he had done, and asked them did they still not understand, when we get preoccupied with the cares for the things of this world, when we become consumed with not having enough, Jesus asks, why feel that way when our hope is not in this world but in what lies ahead though Him. If the disciples had only lifted their eyes from their worries, from their searching for bread, they would see that God provides them with all they need in Jesus and it is the same for us.
Q106 What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
In the sixth petition, (which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, (Matt. 6:13)) we pray, That god would either keep us from being tempted to sin, (Matt. 26:41) or support and deliver us when we are tempted. (2 Cor. 12:7–8)