Page 7 - October 2021 - Truth & Tidings
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recently experienced the Lord’s feeding   Him, while bread sufficient to feed no
        5000, it seems reasonable to assume that   more than a large family was multiplied
        the disciples knew that the Lord could   under His blessing to meet the needs of the
        do the same again. Why, then, did the   multitudes. What further sign could any
        disciples hold back from suggesting this?   man ask or need? And asking it, would
        Was it because they were unsure of the   these  incredulous  adversaries,  if  they
        Lord’s willingness to provide for a multi-  received it, acknowledge His authority?”
        tude consisting of many Gentiles as well   The Pharisees were simply unwilling to
        as Jews?                              believe.
          The Lord deliberately instigated the   The Lord’s answer to such faithlessness
        feeding  of  a  mixed  multitude  that  in-  was not to pander to it. Those unwilling
        cluded many Gentiles, and He did this   to respond would receive no further light:
        in spite of apparent hesitancy among His   “Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign
        own disciples. As with the Syrophoeni-  be given unto this generation. And he left
        cian  woman’s  daughter  (7:24-30),  His   them …” (vv12-13).
        actions reveal that He did not accept, or   Just  as  the  Pharisees’  emphasis  on
        align Himself with, the exclusivity of the   ceremonial cleansing was a covering for
        Pharisees. His compassion was bound-  hearts that were far from God, so their
        less, and His provision was sufficient, and   request for additional evidences clothed a
        abundant, for all. Here was an implicit   deep-seated animosity toward God’s Per-
        rebuke of the disciples’ hesitancy.   fect Servant. The Lord, however, exposed
        The Externalism of the Pharisees      their externalism once again.
        Revisited (8:10-13)                   The Caution (8:14-21)
          The Lord then “entered into a ship with   This large sub-section (6:6-8:21) draws
        his disciples, and came into the parts of   to a close with a caution from the Lord
        Dalmanutha” (v10 KJV). Once again the   to His disciples. In their service for God
        Pharisees sought Him out with hostile   they would face adversity. Lovers of sin,
        intent. They came to “argue with him,   like Herod, would reject God’s truth. And
        seeking from Him a sign from heaven to   lovers of self-righteousness, like the Phari-
        test him” (v11 ESV).                  sees, would reject God’s truth.
          The  Lord  did  not  play  their  game.   Disciples must proclaim God’s truth
        Rather than give another sign to insincere   while facing opposition on two fronts.
        people, the Lord sorrowed over them and   And they must be careful: “Take heed,
        asked, “Why doth this generation seek   beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,
        after  a  sign?”  (v12).   This  generation,   and of the leaven of Herod” (v15). A little
        among all generations, had no excuse to   leaven leavens the lump. So, take heed that
        ask for a sign. “Demons obeyed His com-  the philosophy of the Pharisees (of adding
        mand … the blind, the lame and the sick   tradition to truth) doesn’t influence you.
        responded to his healing hand, yes, and   And take heed that Herod’s philosophy
        by His word the dead were raised to life.   (of rejecting truth that is inconvenient)
        Nature was subject to Him, for the winds   doesn’t influence you. Beware!
        and the waves fell silent and still before
                                              ² E. Schuyler English, The Gospel According to
        ¹ This and all further Scripture quotations are   Mark (New York, NY: Our Hope Publications,
        from the KJV.                         1943).

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