Mark 8:15

Listen to His Warning

Read:

". . . He was giving them orders, saying, ‘Watch out! Beware . . ." Mark 8:15

Reflect:

We are all guilty of preoccupation with physical necessities, rather than spiritual truth. The disciples were slow learners, for sure. Jesus and the disciples were in the boat, but they were worlds apart. Jesus gives them a stern warning.

Jesus’ warning didn't contain a list of things for which to be on the lookout, really, only one, DON’T FORGET YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS, however, He compared it with two types of poisonous relationships, the Pharisees and Herod.

On the surface these two groups seem to be antagonistic toward each other. The Pharisees were religious Jews who lived by moral law. They relied upon rigid rules and rituals to gain acceptance in God’s sight. They asked for signs to fit the narrow interpretations of the law and propagated political dominance.

On the other side was Herod, a secular Roman, who survived by brutal force. He relied on human leverage to maintain his power. Herod risks the lives of millions in order to assure his authority. Herod marches his legions through the streets as a sign from Rome.

Beneath the surface are soul-shaking similarities; both of them have built systems which spring from human nature. Neither can understand Jesus’ vision of a spiritual kingdom. Both had a relationship with Jesus, neither knew Him.

Jesus’ insight into their true nature causes Jesus to call them both leaven. Leaven is a symbol of corruption. Like yeast, it would spread its poison when baked, with the rest of the dough.

The Pharisees and Herod share one poisonous fault - they were both obstinate in their refusal to believe in spite of the evidence. They would not accept the truth, let alone embrace it, even when it was staring them in the face. Herod knew Jesus, but hearing of His mighty works, refused to believe. The Pharisees would not commit themselves to believe.

Jesus warns His disciples not to fall victim to these contaminated approaches to relationship to Him. We should beware we don't become like the Pharisees, going through religious motions, without knowing His presence. We should be on guard against the way of Herod, who knew Jesus, but never surrendered his life to Him. Listen to Him call you into relationship with Him.

Respond:

Do you have a simple, true, authentic relationship with Jesus?