Monday, January 20, 2014

The Leaven of the Pharisees (Mark 7:31-8:26)

In this section we continue to see Jesus perform a lot of miracles among Gentiles, a deaf-mute, another feeding of a crowd… Upon His return to the Jewish territory, the Pharisees demand a sign from Him. This seems laughable in light of all we have seen Jesus doing. However, we aren’t much different today. Many a Christian has bemoaned the fact that God doesn’t just show Himself clearly. People would believe if they could just see.

The fact is, they wouldn’t. First off, just as in Jesus’s day, faith is required first to see what is going on in the Kingdom. In Jesus day, faith was required for the healings and miracles to occur. Secondly, faith with seeing—proof—isn’t faith at all. The Pharisees were not men of faith. They were religious. They followed teachings, traditions, and other men. Many Christians today are no different.

The danger of the leaven of the Pharisees is the danger of unbelief; religious unbelief. The Disciples didn’t have this problem. Their problem was lack of clarity; they didn’t get what Jesus was about. But they did have faith. Today we lay more value on understanding than faith. We flirt dangerously with pursuing an acceptable religion rather than pursuing a deeper relationship with Christ walking in a growing faith.

The final miracle in this section illustrates that need. As believers, our faith should grow. We go from a myopic understanding to clarity as we are touched by Christ. We need to seek that touch on a daily basis. Whenever we are comfortable in our understanding of who God is, we need to ask ourselves what we are missing.

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