from Pastor Niyi Olujobi (left in the photo) at Church of His Presence, Grays – his talk given at the TLP Refresh Day on Thursday 12 May, which was hosted on the second floor of what was once Grays Coop – Congress House. In God’s store, there are many departments…
“And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” 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?”
They said to Him, “Twelve.”
“Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
And they said, “Seven.” So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” Mark 8:13-21
- Jesus had just fed about 4000 people with 7 loaves – a profound miracle in itself
- The Pharisees where probably privy to this miracle and was demanding a further sign from Jesus – that He was the Messiah, the Christ etc. Jesus declined their request
- The bible gave us a little background story that Jesus’ disciples had forgotten to take bread with them – they had just one loaf with them
Jesus charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
Identity: Jesus was speaking to His disciples from God’s view point… As separated people unto Himself. What Jesus would not share with the multitude; with the Pharisees etc., He was sharing with His disciples!
Contradiction: Identity from God’s view point vs Identity from our perception & other influences
Leaven = Influences
- Leaven of Pharisees = Influences of religious systems and spirits
- Leaven of Herod = Influences of the world system and spirits
- Leaven of the Kingdom = Influence from kingdom mindset (Romans 12:1-2)
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread?
- Our limitation is usually in the realm of our reasoning. Our brains and logical thinking many times stand in the way of the supernatural that God intends to birth!
- We conform to our “comfort” zones because of our reasoning!
- We adulterate the message of the gospel of the kingdom of God because of our reasoning of what people might think or perceive of us!
Jesus asked His disciples very important questions:
- 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?
I honestly do not believe that Jesus was looking for an answer to these questions from His disciples but expressing both His frustration and expectation from them.
The same questions He is asking us of us:
- By how much do we allow the kingdom of God shape our thinking and expectations;
- By how much do we allow the supernatural (God’s supernatural) shape our thinking and expectations;
- Do we know that “not just” good works will do transform our community & nation;
- Do we press in for beyond the “natural” on a consistent basis;
- Are our hearts hardened?
- Can we see?
- Can we hear?
- Let us receive our identity from God’s view point
- Let us be careful what influences shape our thinking (reasoning)
- Let us constantly live a lifestyle of constant expectation of the supernatural
Present with Niyi were:
- Colin Baker – Grays Baptist Church
- David Bareham – Community Church
- Andy Blakey – Thurrock Christian Fellowship
- Celia Brockhurst – St Erkanwalds, Barking (lives in North Stifford)
- Alex Day – Aveley Christian Fellowship
- Frank Gaisie – Destiny Chapel, South Ockendon
- Tim Harrold – Transformation Thurrock
… and the wonderful worship team from COHP (thank you so much!)