“Don’t you yet understand?” A Meditation. Read Mark 8:1-21

Filed on 04 November 2015 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

“Don’t you yet understand?” A Meditation. Read Mark 8:1-21

“Don’t you yet understand?” an extraordinary reprimand using OT quote Jer 5:21, Ezek 12:2, Mk 4:12.

Two interpretations.

Simplistic one.

That they only had 1 loaf and they were going to get hungry, that Jesus had just fed 5,000 and then 4,000 so why were they concerned? Jesus upbraided them for their unbelief that He could take care of their hunger.

More complex but I think more real.

Jesus did not accuse them of unbelief that He could provide bread. He asked them why were they even discussing it. He accused them of “not understanding” what He was talking about. I think Jesus was talking about the deliberate refusal of the Pharisees to see the miracles in front of them and then seek to entrap Jesus by asking Him to give them a sign when such signs had already been given. I think Satan may also have been appealing to Jesus to “perform” to convince – another deliberate temptation. But the Pharisees were looking for any way to trap Jesus. Jesus “sighed from the depths of His being” at this stubborn refusal, as in Ezekiel 12:2

“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.”

Later, Jesus accuses the Pharisees “woe to you” (Matt 23) and then weeps over Jerusalem and the history of rejection of God’s message (Matt 23:37).

So, in the boat Jesus teaches the disciples who have witnessed His sighing at this stubbornness and rebellion “be careful of this attitude of this nation that has rejected the message of the prophets. See it for what it is – an evil entrapment of this people, like yeast it will pervade the minds of this people and destroy them.”

And because Jesus mentioned “yeast” and they were concerned about only having one loaf of bread they missed His warning message and the sighing of His heart.  They missed it! They missed it because they focussed on the immediate, trivial, problem of the bread instead of seeing what Jesus was trying to teach them.

“Don’t you get it? Two huge demonstrations of God working and the Pharisees demand a sign? Don’t you see their hypocrisy and rebellion? Can’t you see this is a dangerous leaven and the history of this stubborn people? Why are you focussed on the bread? I can fix that in a flash. Learn of this stubbornness and wilful unbelief and be careful of it for yourselves and others. Don’t you be blind and not hearing.”

Then He heals a blind man (v23) and then puts the question “Who do you say I am?” (v27) and now it seems the disciples have a firm start to “understanding”.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. How is it that ye do not understand?—”do not understand that the warning I gave you could not have been prompted by any such petty consideration as the want of loaves.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

how is it that ye do not understand? my words concerning the leaven of the Pharisees, of the Sadducees, and of Herod, as to imagine I spoke of bread, taken in a literal sense; or that I concerned myself about the scantiness of your provisions, when you, might have learnt from my late miracles, how able I am to support you, if you had not so much as one loaf with you: wherefore it argues great want both of understanding and faith, and shows great stupidity, ignorance, and unbelief, to give such a sense of my words, and to be anxiously concerned on the score of your provisions.

Lachlan Dunjey 3 November, 2015.

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