The Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven

People refuse to believe that which they don’t want to believe, in spite of evidence. When explorers first went to Australia they found a mammal which laid eggs; spent some time in water, some on land; had a broad, flat tail, webbed feet, and a bill similar to a duck. Upon … More

Believe

The willful unbelief of the Pharisees disturbed the Lord to the depths of His spirit. Their demanding to see a sign was not due to their desire to see the hand of God but because they were blind to His hand. The Biblical order for a Christian should be that “believing is seeing” and not “seeing is believing” (v.17).

Jesus once more seeks privacy with His disciples by getting in a boat with them crossing the Sea of Galilee to the district of Dalmanutha (v. 10). The Pharisees came out and started an argument with Jesus (v. 11) They wanted to test Him by asking for a sign from heaven. He asked why they are always looking for a sign from heaven and promised them that they will not be given one (vv. 12-13). He took advantage of this opportunity by warning them of the hypocrisy, pride, worldliness and legalistic spirit of the religious leaders. He was saying, “Don’t you go the same way the Pharisees and Herod have already gone.” At this point the disciples seemed very concerned that they had forgotten to bring enough to eat and they were going to be hungry (vv. 14-16). Jesus reminded them that twice He had satisfied the hunger of huge crowds and had food leftover. His question was why did they forget so quickly and why were they so slow in learning (vv. 17-21?

If we would only learn the lessons of experience, it would teach us not the pessimism of the things that cannot be, but the hope which stands amazed that God has brought us thus far in safety and in certainty and the confidence that God can bring us through anything that may happen.

Application

What is it that makes it difficult for me to sometimes hear and accept spiritual things? What is something I have heard over and over and know that I should do and as yet have not put it into practice? Lord help me to be a person who accepts spiritual teaching and puts it into practice.

Mark 8:10-21 (English Standard Version)

And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha. The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation." And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side. Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, "Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod." And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not 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 take up?" They said to him, "Twelve." "And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" And they said to him, "Seven." And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"

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