Clean It Out!
January 17, 2018 • By Ed Wrather
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 NKJV.
But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still 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 fragments did you take up?” – Mark 8:17-19 NKJV.
A woman in England was having trouble seeing and thought she had cataracts. She had quite a bit of discomfort from her eye which she believed was caused by old age and a dry eye problem. However, the problem of her being unable to see, and her discomfort, was not any of those things. Doctors found a “bluish foreign body” in her eye, which actually was a hardened mass of soft disposable contact lenses stuck together. There were 17 of the lenses in the hardened mass and underneath was found 10 more of the soft disposable contact lenses. Once the doctors had all of that mess cleaned out, the woman could see very well and no longer had the discomfort she had been experiencing prior to the surgery. (BBC News 07.17.17)
Jesus told his disciples in Mark 8:15, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” The disciples did not understand and thought that Jesus was talking about how they did not have any bread with them. Jesus was speaking of a spiritual reality while the disciples had their minds on a worldly material issue. That is why Jesus appears to be perplexed with them. “Why do you reason because you have no bread?” In other words, why are the disciples even talking about this, worrying about this, don’t they remember how Jesus fed the 5,000? The disciples were not ready for the spiritual feeding that Jesus wanted to give them. The disciples had their focus on the world, instead of the spiritual. They were so full of the world, concerned about material things, that it made them unable to see the spiritual truth Jesus was trying to teach them.
Today’s followers of Jesus appear to often have a similar problem of focusing on our material needs and problems instead of upon the spiritual. We worry about so many things, let us remember what Jesus tells us, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6:25-26).” In the same chapter of Matthew, Jesus gives direction as to how to clean this worry out of our lives as He says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Another issue (Although many think of worry as being in the same category.) that too often blocks our ability to see the spiritual reality is sin. The fix for this problem is surgery, spiritual surgery, to clean out the mess. That’s why 1 John 1:9 is in the Bible, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”