Get Out of the Box: How Following Jesus Destroys Your Comfort Zone
Spiritual hunger grows when pride and hardness die.
1. Cultivate hunger
Mark 8:1–10 (ESV)
8 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” 4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
2. Cut off pride
Mark 8:11–13 (ESV)
11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.
3. Confront hardness
Mark 8:14–21 (ESV)
14 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. 17 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? 18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 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.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
Questions for reflection and conversation?
· How would you define spiritual hunger? What is the level of your spiritual hunger?
· How often do you neglect your physical hunger to satisfy your spiritual hunger?
· How does pride affect our ability to learn?
· What is the role of repetition in learning and how does that relate to our approach to the scripture?
· How does pride affect faith?
· What makes Jesus sigh?
· How do we become the kind of people with the right level of humility, inquisitiveness, and knowledge to be able to be in either teaching and or learning mode all the time?
· For what kind of thinking do you need to be watching out? To what extent do you understand the worldview behind the things to which you watch, read, and listen? Do you understand what you are learning from these sources? Why is this important?
· How can you know if your heart is hardened to being able to see what God wants to teach you? If this happened to the disciples don’t you think it could happen to us?