Jesus is the Bread of Life February 7, 2016

Bread Of Life Title.2

Mark 8:11-21

Have experienced a miracle?

Maybe eyesight or hearing restored, cancer taken away? Those certainly are miracles, but what about the car accident you avoided because you were briefly delayed, the financial provision that came in at just the right time, the person who came into your life for a short season and gave you the encouragement you needed to carry on. Those are all miracles, but we don’t often recognize them as such. What about the miracles we don’t know about, the times God protected you or provided for you without your knowledge.

As Christians we have all experienced many miracles.

In Mark 8 verse 11, we read that the Pharisees came to test Jesus, to see if he would prove himself by performing some sign. But we read that Jesus sighed deeply. He was frustrated that although he had given so many signs, they still did not see. Their hearts were hardened. Jesus did not have time for the Pharisees and their intentional hard heartedness, so they got back in the boat and left. The disciples began to get hungry and realized that they did not have much food, whose responsibility was it to bring the food? Here they were on a journey in the Sea of Galilee, not knowing where Jesus is going to go next, without any food.

Jesus knows what they are discussing and responds with a strange warning; “15 Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

The disciples were obviously confused, they thought he was referring to the fact that they had no bread. Jesus often spoke in parables and sometimes confusing metaphors, maybe this was another one. But Jesus was trying to take their attention away from their physical need that was consuming their thinking. How often God needs to do that? Take our minds off the thing that is consuming our attention, the temporal thing, and allow us to focus on the bigger picture. Jesus was getting them to focus on the bigger picture.

The yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod – what was Jesus talking about here? Jesus was warning them of false teachers and those who had a false understanding of who Jesus was. A small amount of yeast affects the whole loaf just like a small amount of doubt and fear affects a whole church and a whole community. Let us be very careful of those who spread fear and doubt. We serve a living God who is still at work in the world today to bring about his plans for his ultimate Glory. Jesus showed that he was more than adequate to provide for their immediate needs. And he still does today.

Jesus starts questioning the disciples and asks 7 questions, but the first five, he shoots out not expecting or requiring an answer to them (Mark 8:17-18). Jesus is like a parent scolding a child.

In asking these questions, Jesus quotes Jeremiah 5:21 and says; “Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” Jesus was not accusing them of being deaf and blind, rather he was pointing to his miracles. He was reminding them of who he was and what he was capable of doing. Looking back in Mark 7, we see that before the miracle of the feeding of the 4000, Jesus had healed a man who was deaf and mute. Then there was another miracle, right after this account of Jesus rebuking his disciples, Jesus heals the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22).

But Jesus goes on and asks them questions about the two miracles of the large crowds that he fed only a few days before.

Jesus probably lowered his voice and in what might have sounded like a sigh, he says; “Do you still not understand?

The disciples had seen incredible miracles, they had seen Jesus feed thousands with a small amount of food. They had seen him restore healing, cast out demons, they had seen him walk on water. They should have understood that Jesus could do anything, but what Jesus was trying to get them to understand was that miracles are not meant for simply the physical provision or correction of something that was out of alignment. Jesus wanted them to be thinking on a spiritual level. Do they know who Jesus is?

And we are not much different. We may experience a miracle, God provides, God opens a door for us, God blesses us, and in a few weeks we forget what God has done, we forget the miracle.

Christians are the beneficiaries of the greatest miracle, the greatest story of all of History, the Good News.

Jesus died and rose again from the dead in order to reconcile us to God. As a result we don’t have to live in fear and uncertainty. The world is a scary place if we don’t know Jesus. If we don’t see and hear what he has done, and what he is still doing.

So why does God do miracles? To make us more comfortable? To help us out of a difficult situation?

Does God do miracles because He realized he made a mistake and quickly has to correct it? No God doesn’t do that. God allows situations in our lives, desperate situations, situations that only He could take care of, in order for us to see His glory, His mercy and His power.

God is less concerned about our personal comfort here on earth than he is concerned about us spending eternity with him.

Through miracles God displays His glory, through miracles God grows our faith and trust in Him. God sends miracles so that we can worship Him.

Tell someone what God has done for you. Your story is your testimony, you need to share your testimony to point others to the glory of God.