January 26, 2014


Passage: Mark 8:1-21

Jesus has been working in Gentile territory.  He heals the Syrophoenician woman near Tyre and Sidon, touches the deaf and mute man in Decapolis, and now feeds four thousand apparently in the same region (7:24-30, 31-37; 8:1-10). This section includes three episodes: Jesus feeding the four thousand (vv1-10), the Pharisees demanding a sign (vv11-13), and Jesus warning and teaching the disciples on the boat (vv14-21). His final question ("Do you not yet understand?" v21) highlights the problem throughout. If we’re paying attention, we should be asking ourselves, "What is the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod?"(v15). And not just what did they do in this instance, but how did they operate? Understanding is a gift from God. Anselm of Canterbury said "I believe in order that I might understand." What do we need in order to understand?

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