Journey with Christ

Jesus deals with hostile Pharisees and Sadducees (Journey 32)

As you may expect, Jesus dealt with hostile people. Of course, if you are going to do anything great in the world, you will have lovers and you will have enemies. You cannot win them all. Jesus knew He could not win very many hearts for the Kingdom of God; however, what He did was important and vital for the rotation of our world. He did what no man could ever do, and that is why we celebrate His Resurrection. What a joyous time!

We are reading in Mark 8:10-13; Matthew 15:39-16:4, as Jesus journeys from Decapolis across the Sea of Galilee to Magdala. Jesus may have stopped over at Dalmanutha as well. The Town of Dalmanutha and The City of Magdala were two separate places, which were very close in vicinity to each other. Magdala is near the shore of the Sea of Galilee at the most westerly point, which is just north of Tiberias. In the southern part is Capernaum.

After feeding the 4,000 men, Jesus sails to Magdala (Matthew says) or Dalmanutha (Mark says), where the Pharisees and Sadducees ask Him to show them a sign from Heaven. Jesus upbraided them for their spiritual darkness in the light of their supposed skill in foretelling the weather. Only the “sign of Jonah” will be given them.

Here’s the story:

Jesus and His Disciples departed to Dalmanutha, and when they arrived, the Pharisees immediately “invaded” Him with question, seeking signs from Heaven, tempting Him, etc. Jesus refused yet again to prove unto them a sign from Heaven, because they don’t believe His Miracles are enough to prove His Divinity.

NOTICE: Jesus has shown His Miracles to prove His Divinity already enough; therefore, for the Pharisees and Sadducees to ask Him for more signs was not going to work, because the only one left that He could use to prove is His Resurrection.

The sign they seek after should not be foretelling the weather, but rather just be the sign of Jonah, for Jonah came back to life three days after apparent death inside the fish; however, Jesus would come back to life after three days of actual death. By this sign, the Father would prove that Jesus is His Son. He then left them and departed.

What can we glean here? We need not be so busy seeking after signs of the Majesty of Jesus Christ, for we have enough evidence to support the existence of God, The Son, and the Holy Ghost. Therefore, we need not offend the signs of God’s Will by seeking for signs of our own wills. We must always be akin to His Will!

Jesus heals a blind man

We continue His Journey in Mark 8:13-26; Matthew 16:5-12, where Jesus quickly travels from Magdala (or Dalmanutha) back across The Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida. We see that leaven is mentioned here: Sin is compared to leaven, in that it affects all that it touches.

Here’s the story:

The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herod were all evil influences that spread through Israel as leaven spread through a lump of dough. Jesus warned His Disciples to beware of them and their leavening effect. The interpretation of this is likely that they were not to be influenced by false teaching and hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees, or even the ungodly ways of people like Herod.

The Apostles missed the meaning of what Jesus was saying, for they thought He just wanted some bread (unleavened maybe?), and were worried that they did not have any left. This showed that they had twice seen Jesus feed a huge crowd of people, but still lacked faith to believe He could provide for them specifically. They also lacked spiritual understanding, for they did not see the meaning of the illustration Jesus explained until after He explained it to them.

Soon, another blind man came unto Jesus for healing, but did lack faith. Jesus saw this, and after healing, He asked the man if he could see. Since the man lacked faith, complete healing did not occur. However, Jesus did not leave him unhealed, but rather, completed the healing giving the man normal eyesight and strengthening his faith in the end.

What can we learn from this?

We must not forget the works of God or distrust Him, because this will cause us to reap consequences onto ourselves. We have the benefit of God working for us and helping us, therefore, we must choose to continue to believe and have faith in what He is doing, and try to seek out the meaning of things that He instructs to us. Instead of taking everything so literal, why not try to seek out the deeper meaning behind the things that He points out?

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