“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name… and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2, NIV).
Read Mark 8:14–21
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod
14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 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? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHave you ever forgotten something really important? What were the consequences?
When Jesus speaks about yeast (15), He is thinking of the insidious influence that unbelief can have. Just as yeast slowly has its effect on the dough in bread making, so the skepticism of the Pharisees will undermine the spiritual growth of the disciples if they allow it to.
There is a note of exasperation in the response of Jesus to the confusion of the disciples. With six penetrating questions (17–19), He brings them up short and forces them to examine whether or not they are learning from what they have experienced. According to Jesus, spiritual awareness requires three simple disciplines.
Seeing, not just with our physical eyes, but also with the eyes of our hearts; being able to recognize what God is doing in the circumstances of our lives. Hearing, not just with our physical ears, but also with the inner ear of the Spirit; being able to discern what God may be saying to us in what is happening. Remembering, that is keeping hold of the lessons we have learned.
These simple disciplines are key to spiritual growth. To make progress as disciples of Jesus we need to develop such reflective practices.
Take time to write down a list of five “remembrances” of what the Lord has done for you. Keep the list where you can see it.
Lord, I pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know You better, that I may see and hear what You are doing and saying.