Mark 8:17-18 (KJV)
And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
It is one thing that Pharaoh would be so hardened of heart as to refuse God’s urging to, “Let my people go.” It is understandable, though not excusable that Israel would have turned hard through generations of the false teaching of the Pharisees. But even Christ was grieved that His disciples, these twelve closest of His followers, would have hearts hardened to His truths.
That these men could have eyes that didn’t see, ears that didn’t hear and a heart that is hardened offers a strong warning to us. The same may true in us and we might not know it. I think the problem happens whenever we assume it won’t happen to us. Our hearts grow hard and our senses grow dim whenever we take them for granted.
This suggests the cure, and Christ lays the responsibility for the cure upon His disciples. It is:
- An humble awareness of this problem
- An active remembrance of Christ’s previous lessons to us and then
- An acute attention to the lesson Christ currently has before us.
Alexander MacLaren writes of this passage, “We are here in Christ’s school, and it depends upon the place in the class that we take here where we shall be put at what schoolboys call the ‘next remove.’ If here we have indeed ‘learned of Him the truth as it is in Jesus,’ we shall be put up into the top classes yonder, and get larger and more blessed lessons in the Father’s house above.”
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Mark 8:17-18 A Cure for the Hardened Heart
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