Sometimes, even the smartest and most spiritual among us can be a little bit dense. We just don’t understand what Jesus is trying to tell us. For example, how would you feel if you were in the boat on the day of this exchange?
“But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, ‘Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.’
At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread.
Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, ‘Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?’
‘Twelve,’ they said.
‘And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?’
‘Seven,’ they said.
‘Don’t you understand yet?’ he asked them.” (Mark 8:14-21)
Jesus channels his frustration with the disciples into these nine pointed questions. They have travelled with him, seen his miracles, heard his teaching and still don’t understand what he is saying. I’m sure they felt somewhat embarrassed. When Jesus warned them about the “yeast of the Pharisees”, he wasn’t talking about bread. Jesus was warning them about the evil designs that the Pharisees were planning: the plot to kill him. The disciples had missed the whole point. They were thinking about their stomachs.
I wonder how often I read a passage of scripture and do just that: miss the whole point because I’m thinking about something else. I’m preoccupied with my need, my situation, or my empty stomach and I totally miss out on what God is trying to say to me. After all this time with Jesus, knowing him, his teaching and his miracles, we can still miss the most basic of messages.
As you read your Bible this week, slow down and take your time. Listen to what Jesus is really saying.