Friday after Septuagesima Sunday
Posted on February 14, 2020 byunder
Scripture: St. Mark 8:10—9:1 (NKJV)
8:10 Immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
They said to Him, “Twelve.”
20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
And they said, “Seven.”
21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”
22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, 4 “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”
28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”
29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
9:1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
“Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.”
Our Lord fed the 5,000 two chapters earlier. Then, earlier in this chapter, He feeds the 4,000. In between, we see Jesus healing many people. Now, the Pharisees want “a sign from heaven.” What does it take to convince them? Jesus has clearly shown that He is the One greater than Moses. But none are so blind as those who do not want to see. Jesus refuses them.
Why were the Pharisees trying so hard not to believe in Jesus? Surely it is because faith in Him would have been most inconvenient. They would have to forsake ego, and the egotistical doctrine that they could be saved by their own meticulous religious observances. They would lose their place in society and among their friends. They would have to admit they were wrong.
Faithfulness entails allowing Jesus to inconvenience us. Before Him and one another, we acknowledge our sins. And with the help of God we actually rejoice as those forgiven by the blood of Jesus. We amend our sinful lives, with all the inconvenience entailed by cleaning up our moral and spiritual messes. God grant us to love Jesus more than our own convenience.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee favorably to hear the prayers of Thy people that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness, for the glory of Thy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.