Daily D – Mark 8:21
Mark 8:21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Our telephone rang. I could not understand what the person on the other end of the conversation was saying. I politely stated this fact. He repeated what he said. No dice. I politely said, “I am sorry, but I cannot understand you.” I then clicked the button to disconnect the call.
Moments later, my phone rang again. I sighed and answered. The voice on the other end asked, “Is this better?” Indeed it was. I could hear clearly.
“I am (and he gave me his name) from AT&T. I am on my way to install fiber internet for you.”
As it turns out, I really, really needed and wanted to understand everything this man had to say. This became a very, very pleasant conversation. A couple of hours later, our home had fast, reliable internet for the first time in our nearly fifteen years of living here. We are going to have to find something new to complain about.
Jesus fed four thousand people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. There were seven baskets of leftovers. The Pharisees showed up when Jesus and the disciples crossed the lake. They wanted a sign, living proof, unmistakable evidence Jesus was who everyone said he was. Jesus made it clear: “Truly I tell you, no sign will be given . . .” (verse 12).
While these words of Jesus are expressive enough to hear what Jesus was feeling, check out other translations of this verse. For example, the Christian Standard Bible says, “Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.’”
The word translated “sighing deeply” is used only here in the New Testament. Jesus wasn’t angry. He wasn’t indignant. The word indicates instead dismay or despair. He fed five thousand with five loaves and a few fish. The disciples, all twelve of them, each picked up a basket of leftovers. They had more leftovers than they started with. He fed four thousand with seven loaves and they picked up seven baskets of leftovers.
Next, he healed a blind man (verses 22-30). This was another in a long line of men, women, and children Jesus healed or raised from the dead. But the Pharisees wanted a sign.
Very Important Point to Ponder: You cannot make some people happy.
The Pharisees would have enjoyed Twitter and Facebook. They wanted an on-demand Messiah. They wanted a Messiah they could point and shoot. They wanted a Messiah to make all their dreams come true.
After healing the blind man, Jesus took his disciples on a vacation to Caesarea Philippi. It was the garden spot of that part of the world. It was also a place where every religion worshiped. BYOG (Bring Your Own God) was SOP. It was here Jesus asked a powerful question: “Who do people say that I am?” (verse 27). He followed it up with another powerful question: “But you, who do you say that I am?”
Peter got it right. “You are the Messiah.”
Peter then got it wrong. Jesus told the disciples he was going to suffer, be rejected by the religious leaders, and killed. He would also rise three days later. (See verses 29-31.) Peter then corrected Jesus. Then Jesus corrected him (verses 32 and 33). Peter apparently also wanted a measure of control over Jesus. He wanted to have a say in what would and would not happen.
Jesus said something next which probably hurt Peter’s feelings. “Get behind me, Satan! You are not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns,” (verse 33).
Jesus is not available to bless our agenda. Jesus does not do magic tricks. Jesus is not a platform-building, high-priced entertainer.
Jesus is the Messiah.
Jesus is the Savior of the World.
Our need for control makes Jesus sigh. When he is allowed to exert control over our lives, God’s kingdom advances within us and through us. When we exert control over our lives, (Please fill in this blank with your current predicament.)
God’s control provides more heaven on earth. My control results in increasing chaos.
King David said in Psalm 18:32, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” The Message puts it this way: “Is not this the God who armed me, then aimed me in the right direction?”
God control beats Dave control every day, every way.
Instead of a Messiah you can point and shoot, how about living a life he can arm and aim in the right direction for the right purpose in the right timing while producing the right result?
I will cede all control to the Messiah who arms and aims and launches me with love to accomplish his kingdom purposes.
Our Father, I am far too puny to play God. I am far too foolish to instruct you. I am completely yours. Take my life and lead me, Lord. Launch me into kingdom service. Use me to build a better world. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”