Mark Part XXX - The Leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod (8:1-21)
As we saw last week, Jesus has implied that in His coming the ritual purity laws separating Jew and Gentile are coming to an end. Consequently, the division between Jew and Gentile is also ending. Mark gives expression to this reality by recording for us Jesus' ministry among the Gentiles, healing the daughter of a Syro-Phoenician woman and healing a deaf mute in the region of Decapolis. Now Mark tells us that while in the region of Decapolis, while in this predominantly Gentile region, Jesus gives another feast.
Why? Why feed another group of people? To proclaim once again the nature of His Kingship and the nature of His kingdom. What does it mean to be king in the context of the Gentiles?
It is this question that occupies the first twenty one verses of chapter 8 - and indeed that continues to occupy much of the rest of the Gospel. What does it mean to be Messiah? What does it mean to be one of His followers? In order to answer these questions faithfully, correctly, the disciples must beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.
Stuart Bryan is the pastor of Trinity Church. He and his wife, Paige, have seven children, four homegrown, two adopted from the lovely land of Guatemala, and one adopted from Ukraine. Stuart earned his B.A. in Religion from Whitworth College and his M.A. in Theological and Historical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.