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Scripture Reading: Mark 8:13-21
"How Is It You Do Not Understand?
1. Jesus gave an important warning that was not understood unless and until the disciples understood it by using a necessary inference.
2. Jesus posed a penetrating question: “How it is you do not understand?” Mk. 8:21 (17, 18)
a. They thought Jesus spoke of bread; Wrong, Mk. 8:15-16.
b. We want to perceive truth, not that we think is the truth, Mk. 8:16-17.
3. Scripture answers His question (“How is it that you do not understand?) and challenges us to be sure we understand truth, not merely what we think the truth is, Eph. 3:3-4.
I. HUMAN REASONING DOES NOT ESTABLISH TRUTH, Mk. 8:16-17; cf. 1 Cor. 2:4-10. (Because heart is deceptive, Jer. 17:9; Prov. 14:12.)
A. Man’s Wisdom Must Never be Accepted Over Revealed Truth, Jno. 18:38 (17:17).
1. Many reject absolute truth; Jesus is the truth, Jno. 14:6.
2. Revealed truth (holy Scriptures) about God, man, sin, salvation, church, morality, etc. is full and final authority.
B. Obedient Faith Thrives as Truth Combines with Mercy and Humble Reverence, Prov. 3:1-8.
-Truth does not conform to us, we must conform to truth.
II. HARD HEARTS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH, Mk. 8:17 (6:52).
(Unresponsive and unwilling to absorb the truth.)
A. The World, Mk. 4:13-15. cf. Mark 8:11-12 (fed/healed multitudes)
B. God’s People, Heb. 3:6-15. (Rebellion, seared consciences)
III. SEEING AND HEARING ONLY WHAT WE WANT TO SEE AND HEAR WILL NOT BRING US TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, Mk. 8:18.
A. Pride Blinds Eyes and Closes Ears to Truth, 1 Cor. 8:1-2 (Jno. 8:43).
1. Education, eloquence, etc., 1 Cor. 3:18-21. Don’t boast in men.
2. The prideful “we see” (“we know,” 9:24, 29) keeps people from seeing the truth, Jno. 9:35-41. (The person who cannot admit the possibility of being wrong in their conviction.)
IV. LITTLE FAITH PREVENTS US FROM UNDERSTANDING THE TRUTH, Matt. 16:6-8 (9, 11, 12).
A. Failure to Trust the Authority of Revealed Word of God Results in Misunderstanding the Truth. (Rom. 10:17)
1. Ex. Reject water baptism due to “faith only” creeds (Mk. 16:16).
2. Ex. Change work and organization of the local church due to no longer trusting Bible patterns (how to establish and apply Bible authority, Col. 3:17; 2 Tim. 1:13).
V. JESUS EXPECTS US TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH BY USING NECESSARY INFERENCES CORRECTLY, Mk. 8:19-21 (2 Tim. 2:15).
A. First, be Sure Your Inferences (Conclusions) are Necessary.
1. What seems reasonable is not automatically necessary, 8:16-17 (14).
2. We cannot merely assert truth; It must be tested and proved by Scripture, 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Tim. 3:16.
3. NI takes all the relevant information on the subject; Cannot cherry-pick the Scriptures to support our conclusion.
B. Necessary Inferences Harmonize with the Rest of God’s Word, Psa. 119:160. (cf. Mk. 8:18: “Do you not remember?”)
1. When one is driven by his own desires he is likely to draw unnecessary inferences that twist the Scriptures, 2 Pet. 3:16 (3).
2. God’s ways are not our ways, Isa. 55:8-9. Harmonize with Him, not our will.
1. God’s word must have a place (room to do its work) in us for us to understand it, John 8:37. We make that decision.
2. God will teach if we will learn instead of disregard His word for what is false, Psa. 119:124-128 (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: July 26, 2018