Pray today for your eyes to be open to see what God might be doing in your life.
Read Mark 8:14-21
 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.  “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”  They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”  Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?  Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?  When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.  “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”  He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do you suppose Jesus wanted the disciples to understand?
God warned Israel in Deuteronomy 8:3 that even bread is not enough. What really matters is being alert to what God is doing. The Israelites needed spiritually attuned sight and hearing. Their successors, the Pharisees and Herodians, are both blind and deaf, and their attitude is like bad yeast which spreads its baleful influence through the whole loaf of bread. It is a matter of hard hearts. The spiritual dullness of the disciples is similar to that of Jesus’ opponents. They fail to pick up the symbolism of numbers and are unresponsive to the patterns which God lays down in history. We saw yesterday that the number seven is often used in Scripture to suggest perfection or completion, as when God rested at the end of his act of creation. Twelve seems to be the number for the people of God: tribes of Israel, apostles. Certainly we shouldn’t be judgmental, but perhaps we should find solace in the fact that these first followers of Jesus were prey to exactly the same blindness we are. Between the Ascension and Pentecost, the disciples had understood and decided that, following the betrayal of Judas, their full number should be reestablished (Acts 1:12-26).
Pray for God’s insight and wisdom to recognize his activity in the lives of those around you today.
Lord, I pray for a sharp sense of spiritual hearing and insight so I’ll be attuned to Your work around me.
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