Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2017 Mark 8:15.

Mark 8:15.   And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven (yeast) of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

What shall I say this Monday morning eh my people, to encourage us to get up and get going? It’s so hard to arouse us, lift up our spirits every Monday, like pulling teeth, as our ancestors would say. I believe that we just don’t handle the weekend properly, so on Mondays we’re tired and grouchy and don’t want to get up to go to work, to face the same ole, same ole grind and daily task. 

But that’s just the way our society is structured my brethren, there’s not much we can do about it, except don’t work, and then we won’t eat, so the sooner we come to terms with it, the sooner we’d lose those Monday blues. 

And everybody nods and agrees. But since when did we begin taking good advice eh? (smile) We all still like to do our own thing even though it brings negative consequences. But don’t worry, we have the proper remedy, the right antidote for those Monday Blues of yours. It’s called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s stir up some enthusiasm in our spirits and adrenaline in our blood by declaring it right now nuh. 

In strong voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that wasn’t as rousing a rendition as our choirmaster Jesus would have liked, but He understands the frailty and fragility of our souls, and once we expend a reasonable effort He will be satisfied. So let’s get a move on and put that enthusiasm and adrenaline to work in building Christ’s kingdom in this evil and ungodly world in which we live. 

But let’s also be careful and heed Jesus’ warning to His disciples in our Bit. ‘And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven (yeast) of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.’ 

They had just left a group of Pharisees who were trying to tempt Jesus asking for a sign from heaven. As the scholars surmise:  ‘8:1. These Pharisees were evidently not interested in Jesus’ message. They sought rather to satisfy their own curiosity, or perhaps to gather further evidence against Him on the supposition that his work was of demonic origin (3:22).’ 

But Jesus in His own inimitable way, ‘sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.’ (Mark 8:12-13) Ah friends, yuh like how Jesus could mash up the Pharisees and them, and just leave them hanging? 

And according to the scholars: ‘8:12. Generation refers to those Jews living at that time. “This generation” carries a derogatory sense because this particular generation of Jews has rejected Jesus as their Messiah, despite all the evidence provided them.’  

Now after they set out for the other side, the disciples realized they had forgotten to get bread, they only had one loaf on board. That’s when Jesus declared our Bit. ‘And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven (yeast) of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.’ (Mark 8:15-16) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘8:15. Charged means “ordered.” Leaven here has a derogatory meaning. Jesus warns of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy and Herod’s secularism.’ ‘8:16. The disciples miss the point totally.’ And is that ever so true! They had no clue whatsoever about what Jesus meant. 

And when Jesus realized their wrong thinking, He admonished them. ‘Why reason ye because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye (is) your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?’ (Mark 8:17-21) 

Yeh friends, the disciples were somewhat daft there. The scholars explain thus: ‘8:14-21. Jesus challenges the disciples to deeper discernment. The disciples apparently failed to realize from the feeding of the five thousand (6:30-34) and from the feeding of the four thousand that Jesus can certainly provide for their needs.’ 

Unfortunately, that’s the way a lot of believers are these days too. We forget what the Lord has already done in our lives and begin to fear and worry when problems come up against us, and we need to be summarily reminded of it all. 

And we’ll end with this interesting note from the scholars. ‘8:17-21. Jesus is often portrayed as the gentle, patient teacher. Here he barrages His followers with a battery of queries worth of a prosecuting attorney.’  And that is how we unthinking and unseeing believer’s ofttimes need to be brought to heel! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is able…is sufficient to meet…ALL…of our needs…and if you are a believer…you shouldn’t need to be reminded of it…

 

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