Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The disciples had allowed themselves to become so distracted that they missed the message Jesus was trying to give to them. Sometimes we allow the same thing to happen in our lives.

According to the president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 1.2 million crashes a year are caused by driver distractions. Of course we all know that with the way cell phones have taken over in our society that cell phones are definitely a distraction for many drivers. But to my surprise there are other distractions that are higher on the list. According to one study done by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center the biggest distraction was simply reaching or leaning. That was followed up by fiddling with the Radio, conversing, eating and drinking, grooming, dealing with passengers and reading and writing, and the list goes on. Now if we are all honest we all have allowed ourselves to be distracted in our driving with one or more of those things, and some of us have been distracted by all of those things. Technology just adds to the distractions. There are actually some luxury models that are now fitted with internet terminals specifically designed to offer information while the car is on the move, such as the location of parking places and filling stations. But there is actually new technology being worked on that is called the Smart Assistant, and when complete, the assistant will decide when it is too dangerous for a driver to be disturbed, and will divert phone calls to voicemail, hide arriving emails and lock the controls of the satellite navigation system and CD player. But let’s face it, in reality technology can’t control people from being distracted. We as people are easily distracted. Even in our own spiritual lives, we allow ourselves to get distracted. Today in our series on the Questions that Jesus asked we see Jesus and the disciples in a boat together, and the disciples had gotten distracted. Their distraction was causing them some problems. In the same way when we get spiritually distracted we run into problems.

Mark 8:13-21

Now Jesus and the disciples had gotten into the boat. At some point after they had gotten in the boat Jesus told them, “Be careful, watch out for the yeast of the Pharisee’s and Herod.” It was obvious that Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees were still fresh on his mind. Right before they had gotten in to their boat the Pharisees had tried to test him and ask Him for a sign from heaven. As far as Herod being inserted there, some thing that it might be a reference to the Herodians, a group of Jews who supported the king, and many of them were Sadducees or then again maybe he was simply referring to Herod. But when Jesus said yeast, he was referring to evil. Just as a little yeast would work it’s way through and permeate the whole loaf of bread, so would the hard heart and wickedness of these religious leaders. Well when Jesus used the word yeast, they realized that they had forgotten to bring any bread with them. They had one loaf and that was it. They assumed that Jesus was talking about physical bread, and it sparked a discussion about their situation. Meanwhile while they were focused on their inventory and stock of bread they missed the message that Christ was trying to give them. Hence, the question that Jesus asked, “Why are you talking about having no bread?” But in many ways doesn’t the same thing happen to us when we have allowed ourselves to get distracted spiritually. We miss the message God has for us. The disciples just totally missed it here. Instead of getting the message to beware of being influenced by these Pharisees and their ways they were talking about bread for their stomach. I’m reminded of another person in scripture who had allowed themselves to become distracted and was missing the very words of Jesus. Remember when Jesus went to the home of Martha and Mary. Martha was making all of these preparations that she thought had to be done. Maybe she was making a gourmet dinner and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Maybe she was trying to clean house at the same time embarrassed at the mess. Meanwhile she had the Son of God sitting in her house. Now listen to what the scriptures said in Luke 10:39,40, “She had a sister Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…” It’s not that what Martha was doing was so bad, but she had allowed it to distract her from what she should have really been more concerned with. And that was doing what her sister was doing. Sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to what He had to say. There was so much more value listening to the words of Jesus then there ever was doing housework or cooking or whatever she was doing here. You remember that Martha got upset at her sister for sitting there listening to Jesus when she was having to do all the work. And Jesus’ response to Martha was, “Martha, Martha, you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.” In the same way, so many times if we aren’t careful we are so busy making these preparations in our life, that we neglect to do what we really need to do, and that is just to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He has to say. Sometimes we get so busy doing things that are not really bad things, we just give them the wrong priority in our lives. And when we do that we often times miss the message that God wants to give us because we have allowed ourselves to become distracted. Many of us have so filled up our schedule that we haven’t given ourselves the time just to sit as Jesus’ feet and listen. Or maybe we are so distracted with other things that when we do come to our time with God our minds are still filled with things that we need to do or concerns that we have that we really aren’t giving God our full attention and we are missing the message that God is trying to communicate to us. Just as the disciples were so preoccupied dealing with physical bread that they were missing the real message of what Jesus was trying to say. We as Christians need to make sure that we don’t allow ourselves to be so distracted that we don‘t hear the message Christ has for us. I know so many times I’ve been guilty of being engrossed in a basketball game or something and Nancy will say something to me and I will shake my head and act like I knew exactly what she said. But then I’m in trouble when she asks me to repeat it. Sometimes that’s what we do to God. We allow ourselves to get so engrossed in something and we play like we are all ears to God when the truth is He knows better. And you know, the truth is, having our ears and minds open to God is not something that we should just select one time of day and think that after our devotion time with Him that He may not try to speak to us anymore that day. Throughout our day, we need to make sure that we are aware of God’s presence and have our spiritual ears open to what He might try to say to us.

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