Mark 8:14-21 – The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

Christian MölkMark Leave a Comment

Mark 8:15

  1. In biblical times, leaven was often a symbol of sin.
    1. Just as a little leaven in a dough leavens the whole dough and causes it to swell, a little sin poisons the whole life (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
    1. The Jewish people celebrated Passover by eating unleavened bread because they did not have time to prepare the bread when they had to leave Egypt in a hurry.
      1. The Christian celebrates Easter because that is when Jesus died on the cross and took away sin.
      1. Jesus’ admonition to beware of leaven is thus an admonition to beware of sin, because even a little sin can poison a lot.

Mark 8:16

  1. The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about.
    1. The difference between the Pharisees and the disciples was that the Pharisees (probably) understood who Jesus was, but did not want to follow him, while the disciples, at least at first, did not understand who Jesus was, but wanted to follow him anyway.
    1. Faith is not always about understanding, but about following.

Mark 8:17

  1. The disciples were too busy thinking about the worldly bread to understand that Jesus was talking about the spiritual bread. 
  2. Jesus has shown earlier in this chapter that he can arrange as much bread as he wants, it is no problem for him.
  3. As a disciple of Jesus, we don’t have to worry about worldly things, Jesus takes care of that for us (Matt 6:24-34).
    1. Instead, Jesus’ disciples should focus on the kingdom of God, and God will take care of the rest.
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