I’m more a child of my culture than I’d like to admit!

I really hate to admit it, but I can’t avoid reality… when it comes to spiritual things, more often than I’d like to admit, I simply don’t get it! I’m so prone to operate on simply a material, physical, visible, sensory level! I could go into a rehearsal of all the times it’s happened, but I won’t … The list would be longer than I’d like to admit…
 
Am I the only one… or has it ever happened to you?
 
It happened to Jesus’ disciples… I read about it this morning during my time of “Coffee with the Lord”…
 
It hadn’t been that long since Jesus performed two, similar, miracles – the feeding of the 5000+ multitude with five loaves and 2 fish, and a short time later the feeding of 4000+ with seven loaves and a few fish… and they had baskets full of leftovers in both instances! Awesome miracles!
 
So now, they’re in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, traveling to another ministry location and Jesus decides to do some teaching… He makes a rather cryptic statement and they completely miss his intended message. Here’s what the Bible says, “He cautioned them, saying, ‘Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread!” (from Mark 8:14-21, cp. Matthew 8:5-12)
 
They completely missed what he was trying to tell them! They were so preoccupied with material things – even the awesomeness of the recent miracles, that His intended meaning went right over their heads.
 
Leaven, in this instance was being used figuratively for the pervasive (and damaging) influence of the teaching (even the worldview) of the religious and secular leaders of the time. (Check out Matthew 16:11-12.) It was teaching – a worldview – that reduced everything to the here and now, the present and visible, pragmatic advantage, and power politics… much like today, I might say. Eternal values and issues of character and “spirit” got the “back seat,” were ignored, were compromised or outright ridiculed…
 
He was warning them about the pervasive, insidious influence of that kind of teaching and worldview… And they missed it! They missed His important warning because of their own preoccupation with the here and now – the tangible! How like me! … More a child of my culture than I’d like to admit! So I jotted this brief but sincere prayer in the margin of my Bible today… “Oh Lord, open my eyes! My ears! My mind and heart so that I can see things as they really are – and what you’re trying to teach me!”

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