Unperceiving Hearts: Mark 8: 14-21

The Lord sees what is going on in our deepest affections. He know what it is that really motivates and moves us. He knows what it is that we believe, think, and hold as firm convictions. He knows what speaks to our hearts. He knows when we really get something and when it has not really sunk in. He watches our hearts just as clearly and closely as we can observe another’s facial expressions. See Jeremiah 17:10.

All of these definitions define the heart. Why is the Lord so concerned about our hearts?

This is needful to think about as we move into this text.

We have the contextual set up in verse 14. Please read this verse and note that there has been no discussion yet among the disciples about the fact that there is only one loaf. The Scripture is simply giving us this insight so that we may understand the following verses.

I. Still Rightly Troubled (Please read and discuss verse 15)

Jesus was still troubled in His spirit about the confrontation that He had had with the religious leaders. He knew that their influence was deadly. Hardened hearts willingly drift toward some mode of un-Christlike unbelief. The hard heart is not at rest, but looks for its unbelieving convictions to be validated in some system.

Jesus said for His disciples to watch out for the “leaven” of the 1) Pharisee 2) Sadducees (Matthew 16) 3) Herod. What is leaven and why is Jesus using this word for these groups? See I Corinthians 5:6-8.

Leaven was what for the:

Pharisees, according to Luke 12:1?

Sadducees were the following: elite, anti-supernatural, politically motivated (see Matthew 16:12). What would we say their leaven was?

Herod, see Luke 23:8 & I John 2:15. How would we describe Herod and his leaven based upon what we know of him?

All of these could be summarized with “scornful unbelief.”

II. Still Preoccupied (read and discuss verses 16-18)

While Jesus was expressing something profound, the disciple were completely missing it. See Psalm 94:8

What was their focus?

How do their attitudes still manifest in us today?

III. The Matter of Provision is Settled (verses 19-21)

Jesus was reminding them that it was a bit absurd to be discussing that they had only one loaf of bread when they had The Provider with them.

Please discuss how we often get focused on the trouble and forget about who it is who is with us.

They also needed to think more profoundly about what the miracles really meant. Surely, if they could not understand what leaven meant, then they had not understood what the feedings meant (see Mark 6:52)

Conclusion: How is this an encouragement to us to know what the Lord can do with un-perceiving people like us?