Beware

Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

Mark 8:14-26

I think that when Jesus said “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees,” He meant to watch out for their teachings and words. Like yeast causes bread to rise, the words of the Pharisees can cause unbelief to spread. After all, here are men who, not long ago, dropped their entire lives to follow Jesus. And now they don’t trust Him to feed them, even after twice witnessing Him feeding thousands! Could it be that their hearts became hardened because they trusted too much in the teachings of the Pharisees? Or maybe the same doubts that bother the Pharisees bother the disciples too. Jesus could just be telling them to watch out for these doubts. (Not that doubts are inherently bad. Doubt is normal and healthy. But we DO need to be aware, or BEWARE, of it. When doubt goes unaddressed for too long it can fester and grow into something unhealthy. Being aware of our doubts is vital to overcoming them.)

Regardless, the disciples failed miserably at understanding. They still don’t get who He is! They’re going to start getting it soon though, I think.

I’m not sure what the significance of the blind man is. It appears to simply be yet another healing story, and an unremarkable one at that. (Comparatively, I guess. If it didn’t have some others to be compared to, this would seem incredibly remarkable to us! Funny how that works.) I guess it’s important that Jesus took the man out of the village first, and commanded him not to go back afterwards. It seems to me that Jesus might be trying to keep a lower profile. Maybe He is just tired and needs some rest, or maybe He is trying to delay persecution as long as possible in order to do more good. I don’t know. I’m still not really understanding the whole Messianic Secret. I seems so inconsistent! 

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