Adventures in Missing the Point

S (Scripture): Mark 8:14 Now they had forgotten to take bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 And Jesus ordered them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod!” 16 So they began to discuss with one another about having no bread. 17 When he learned of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Have your hearts been hardened? 18 Though you have eyes, don’t you see? And though you have ears, can’t you hear? Don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?” They replied, “Twelve.” 20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?” They replied, “Seven.” 21 Then he said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

O (Observation): Jesus speaks in riddles, it seems.  He tells the disciples to be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.  And what do they do?  They look for a loaf of bread…???  

Perhaps the yeast Jesus is speaking about is the overwhelming influence that the Pharisees and Herod have on the world around them…but that’s not what I’m focusing on for today.  Rather, my point today is to dwell on the fact that the disciples just didn’t understand Jesus. 

The Messianic Secret refers to the lack of the disciples’ collective understanding that Jesus is the Messiah in the Gospel of Mark. 

A (Application):  I have to admit, I don’t think my actions would be too far off from that of the disciples in the boat with Jesus.  “Hey Phillip, Jesus is talking about yeast.   Did you get the loaf of bread?”  “No!  I though you had it?!” 

Jesus sits there…slowly shaking his head : )

How often do we miss the mark?   How do we know when we’ve hit the mark!?!

The tool we can use to determine the mark is discernment.   The hope for every congregation is that it become a place of discernment for the direction of God’s Spirit.  We discrern through prayer, scripture reading, and quiet time.   We ABIDE and hope to receive revelation. 

Our tendency is to just put any quick plan into action, but I think that harms us more in the long term to just rush into action.   We need times to quiet the noise around us.  Pause.  Ask questions.  Dream.  Plan.   And then, when the time is right, execute!  

If the action bears fruit, you’re spot on. If no fruit, go back to the abiding stage and repeat the steps.  We won’t always get it right. Just look at the disciples and see often they missed the mark.  And yet, Jesus entrusted to them the keys of the kingdom!

Where have you missed the mark?  Have you missed in big and small ways (like me ; )????

P (Prayer):  Lord, as we miss, guide us and give us revelation to bear fruit for your kingdom.  Amen. 


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