To Understand

Do you ever struggle to understand God’s Word?  Have you ever listened to a sermon or a class and thought ‘I’m not sure I get it.’? How can we ensure we are picking up all that God is laying down (and others for that matter). In today’s Bible text, we hear Jesus ask His followers twice if ‘they understand’.  

Mark 8:15-21 - And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

So, keep in mind that Jesus has just asked this group to ‘Beware the leaven’ of the religious leaders He had just encountered.  They jump to the conclusion that He must be chiding them about not bringing bread.  For some reason, they weren’t able to think about the illustration He was using and were stuck on their supply problem.  There are many reasons for why we may not understand God, His Word or His Plan.  Listed here are a few of them…do any of them ring true in your life?

    • We aren’t Listening well. We may hear the words but we are missing the message.  
    • We are hearing what we want to hear.  Rather than hearing the message from the heart and mouth of the speaker, we are only hearing what we think they are saying or what we think they should be saying. 
    • We have hardened our hearts to the voice of God. After more than a year with Jesus we would hope that these guys would be accustomed to hearing Him…but they were not.  They continued to struggle to have the kind of faith and understanding Jesus desired for them. 
    • We have too short of a memory on what God has done.  More on this one tomorrow. 
    • We busy ourselves with ‘what we think’ rather than what God has said. A sure-fire way to miss what God is saying is to fail to use the Scriptures in helping you understand the Scriptures.  The Bible is a comprehensive story that, when understood, helps unlock parts that may be difficult if taken out alone. 

For more devotional thoughts you can visit .  We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper.  Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.