Journal Mk 8 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

 

Scripture: “The Pharisees came and began to argue with (Jesus), seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.  And (Jesus) sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?  Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.

 

And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side…” (Mk 8:11-13)

 

Observation: Signs, signs, everywhere and everyone wants to see a sign; myself included. While Jesus is speaking to this group of Pharisees, is the observation applicable to every generation—including today?

 

Analysis:  If I really think about what the Pharisees do, I should recognize myself in their reflection.

 

Because of the Fall, it is difficult to approach someone without wanting desperately to talk about myself and my own opinions.

 

Concerning Christianity, why is that?  After all I have the Bible and a couple of thousand years of historical precedent that I should be able to fall back on, right?

 

Alas, I seem to revert to a character as from Missouri, the “Show Me” state: Prove it!  Prove what you are saying is true; be overwhelming convincing; “show me a sign.”

 

“If you are going to ask me to upend my life (which I kind of like how I am at the moment), you better have some convincing proofs—proofs that are more convincing than my own opinions.”

 

Jesus defines the above attitude characteristics 3 ways: Eyes that cannot see; Ears that refuse to hear; a Heart that is hard and stony.

 

When I shut myself down like this, one thing is for certain: I cannot hear the Whisper of God. Shucks, I even go blind to the written Word of God and only see the stuff that makes me happy, self-important, and self-satisfied.  It also keeps me shallow and forgetful of the Gospel.

 

So, what do I do?  Do I stop having an opinion or arguing about the Scriptures?  That isn’t supported by the Scriptures at all.  I am supposed to think, to reason, to imagine, to correlate and all those “thinking” type synonyms. Goodness, if someone way back when didn’t put their punkin’ head down to figure out why Jesus’ death on the Cross was enough for the Atonement of Sin and they came up with the concept of the Trinity.

 

I must keep thinking, but I should think humbly and with a strong dose of “I could be wrong, let me study more” even if that study is for several years.  Paul considered his gospel for 17 years before bringing it to the Elders.  17 years!  That is not too long, right?

 

Prayer: Lord, obstinacy runs deep within me and You allow me to fight it every day.  Let my so-called convictions run deep alongside Your Word and on the shoulders of Fathers of the Faith that have come before.  I want to keep my heart bowed to You and my eyes lifted to see You every day.  AMEN

 

 

Rick Sutton

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