Daily Reflection – 2/19/19
Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out–beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to 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 collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8: 14-21)
Jesus “sighed from the depth of His spirit.” It was a sigh that was more than emotion. It was from the “depth of His spirit.”
This sigh reveals a pain and suffering in Jesus that was spiritual in nature. It was a pain and suffering that came as a result of being rejected by others. But it wasn’t just that He was hurt or offended, because He wasn’t. The suffering He felt was from His love. It came as a result of Him loving the Pharisees deeply and realizing that they were rejecting the grace He wanted to offer them. This hurt not because Jesus was sensitive to being hurt; rather, it hurt because of His boundless love for them.
Often, we only think of Jesus being harsh to the Pharisees. But every strong word He directed toward them was aimed at converting them out of love.
Reflect, today, upon the “Pharisees” in your life. Perhaps you do not encounter those who are proud or haughty. In ministry, we encounter them continually. The Pharisees are those who reject the free gift of love we offer in Christ’s name. But they are those who are so hurt, confused or bitter that they find it very hard to let love in. They want to be the center of attention and need to be recognized. They throw up every sort of defense there is to avoid letting our love in.
And when you see this rejection, it hurts. It may then tempt you to have anger or condemnation.
But how should you react? You should do as Jesus did! You should sigh, and “sigh deeply.” You should feel the hurt of their rejection and feel sorrow for them. At times, you may need to confront them as Jesus did. But never out of wounded pride. You should confront only because you judge that it’s the best way to win them over. You will know that this is an act of love when you feel that deep sigh within your spirit.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, break down the walls that press in on my small heart: let me believe that you are the Son of God, and that in company with you I truly live. Help me see that you yourself are the ‘bread’ which I need to stay alive. Help me to hang all my hope on you.
We are all like the disciples in one way or another. We all like to be in charge and have things under control. But we need to be careful not to try to control everything, because that’s when we risk limiting the Lord or pushing him out of the picture. This is especially true when we are faced with a particularly challenging situation and feel that we don’t have enough “bread.”
Don’t let this happen! You may have only one loaf, but that’s more than enough for the Lord. If he can feed thousands with just a little more than that, surely, he can take anything you offer him and fill it with his power and grace!