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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“They reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, ‘Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart, still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?”—Mark 8:16–18 (NKJV)
Mark brings us to one of those moments in Jesus’ ministry that’s all too relatable for us as human beings. It follows the second miraculous feeding of a multitude that Jesus performed and bread was on everyone’s mind because of what had just happened.
Imagine you’re one of the disciples. You’ve just seen and handled more bread than most people see in an entire lifetime, and that was for the second time! Your finite brain is still processing what Jesus had just done. Then, as you board the boat to sail across the sea you hear Jesus taking about “yeast.” You associate that with all that bread and then it dawns on you, Jesus must be hungry and nobody remembered to bring any bread for the journey!
That’s where we come in to this moment. “We have no bread.” They figure Jesus must be talking about bread—actual, material, natural bread. But no! Jesus wasn’t speaking naturally but spiritually. The “yeast” was really a reference to the false teachings of the religious leaders of that day. Jesus drew this comparison because both have the ability to start small and spread exponentially (Mark 8:11–12). The Lord was warning against how damaging their doctrines were.
The disciples were still on the natural, and in order to get them on the same spiritual page, He asks them a series of questions revealing they were “missing it.” He then reminds them that natural bread isn’t a problem with Him: “’When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?’ They said to Him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?’ And they said, ‘Seven.’ So He said to them, ‘How is it you do not understand?’” (Mark 8:19-21 NKJV).
We often find ourselves in the same boat (pun intended). Like the disciples, we hear something and our minds naturally go to the natural. It’s sort of a first instinct inside of us. We’re conditioned by this world to perceive life through a natural filter. We hear “yeast” and our minds go to a loaf of bread, missing a much deeper message that we need to know.
We often “miss it.” And yet, the Lord lovingly and patiently works with us just as He did with the disciples. Jesus does not abandon us because we lack understanding. He meets us, challenges us, stretches us, and ultimately grows us to become those who sees things as He does.
Pause: How did the disciples “miss it”?
Practice: Consider what lesson you should take away from this passage.
Pray: Lord, thank You for Your continued patience and please continue to enlighten my eyes to see things as You do.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.