Gospel Reflection for Saturday, February 13th, 2021 -- Mark 8:1-10
What's your opinion or view of the bible and the stories it contains? Do you believe that it is simply writings of men, or do you have a higher regard for these texts?
I happen to have a fairly high esteem of scripture. Unless a story is presented as metaphorical, a parable, or some other figurative literary style, I tend to take it pretty much at face value. The Gospel writer today presents that a massive group of people were fed from a few fish and loaves of bread. Shouldn't that shouldn't count as miraculous in most people's understanding? However, Modern Scholarship, with their Cultural, and Textual Criticisms and other methodology are continually doing what they can to minimize the supernatural element of scripture. Some suggest that rather than being truly miraculous, it was simply a miracle of sharing resources.
The miracle of the loaves and fishes is an important element in the Ministry of Christ because it draws a parallel to God feeding the Jews Manna in the desert during their "exodus" from Egypt. It was a sign of both his power and even divinity.
When you remove the reality of the miraculous elements in scripture, from healing, driving out evil spirits, and even the inspiration of scripture itself, you relegate these writings to the mundane, or normal. Without the spiritual or supernatural element, scripture loses its power, meaning, and importance. It becomes merely the writings of men.
Believing that the bible is without God's divine imprimatur is what's driving the moral downfall in our world today. If you think that the bible was simply written by some culturally biased men, out of touch with our modern, advanced cultural norms, then the book simply has no moral authority -- at all. Is it any wonder that operating from this mindset, that modern, so-called, Christian Churches, are following the lead of culture, rather than the consistent teachings handed down to us over the past two millennia?
The days we are living in can literally be compared to a spiritual desert, where even the concept of God is minimized and oftentimes even ridiculed. Where will you find your next spiritual meal?
The Good News is that YES, there are still a few good Churches out there, preaching sound doctrine. The Life-giving and sustaining Word of Truth is still active in this world. The message of God's Holy Spirit, which is still blowing across the land, may not be as loud and verbose as modernist voices, but, it's still there if you have ears to hear His "still small voice." (1 Kings 19:11-13)
However, if the church you're attending is teaching the wisdom of this age, or a message that echos liberal, politically correct morality, you won't find the Bread of Life. (John 6:35) Their messages, as well as their sacraments (if you can still call them sacraments), are bereft of grace. God does not reside within a lie, therefore saving grace will not be found within their walls. In 1 Corinthians 3; 18-20 we read "Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness;" and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
When you prayerfully focus on finding the Kingdom of God, rather than relying on the wisdom of this age, you'll begin your journey towards that narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14) of Salvation; relying on the manna of God's word along your way. And, then, when you finally enter into your final heavenly reward there will be a grand banquet celebration known as the "Marriage Feast of the Lamb." (Revelation 19:9)
Lord, God, Giver of Life, I pray that the words presented here have been pleasing to you and will serve to feed more than a few hungry souls. Father, it is through your words alone that we may find the bread of eternal life, and the manna that will sustain us on to our heavenly reward.
GOSPEL — Mark 8:1-10
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still, he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets. There were about four thousand people. He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
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