Mark 8:11–13 Jesus Changes Our Minds So We Now Understand God

The Text

Mark 8:11–13 (CSB)
11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him.

12 Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

13 Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.

The Devotion

Too many people, especially Christians, think that we can reasonably argue and help people logically come to the conclusion that Christ is God and He is one.

Logic and reason have left us and we cannot know the truth of God through just sound thinking. That is part of the Fall of Mankind. Because we are all have been born of and fallen from the glory of God, we naturally suppress the obvious things of God.

Romans 1:18-23 (CSB) For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.

How to do we get past that mind and heart blocker? How can we suppress what we suppress?

1 Corinthians 2:6–16 (CSB)
6 We do, however, speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

7 On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory.

Christ must change our minds: it is not the wisdom of man but God's hidden, mysterious wisdom

Look at verse 7: this was all set in place way before Genesis 1:1. You have problems with Election, Predestination of God? You might be in good company. The love of God and his wisdom is hidden and mysterious. Once we are expose to it, we long to know it and get more of it.

8 None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, because if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Christ must change our minds: His kingdom doesn't make sense in our world

Colossians 2:8-15 (CSB) Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, when you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.

Christ did not come in with power, glory, honor, and a massive angelic army waiting to lay waste to a race of depraved, wicked people. He came in low, vulnerable, little, weak, small, unknown--just like every one of else. He lived his life homeless, filled with tragedy, and yet perfectly in the law and glory of God. We didn't get the plan. Kings and rulers didn't get the plan. Satan and demons didn't get his plan. The plan is death so that we can live.

9 But as it is written, What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived— God has prepared these things for those who love him.

Christ must change our minds: this has always been the plan

God doesn't need to change him, his mind or his will to save his people from their sins. And here's the real kick: the plan has been perfectly executed. What Christ has done in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension was perfectly enough to save his people to the Father forever. One and done.

10 Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. > 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except his spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Christ must change our minds: you are not going to get this on your own

I don't care how smart you think you are or where you went to school or how many books you've read or how many times you've read the Bible. Unless the Holy Spirit reveals, you ain't going to know Him and his will.

All those times you thought you've figured out who God is? That was God revealing to you.

12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God.

Christ must change our minds: how are we to understand unless God gives understanding

This verse is the lynchpin. Paul is not just talking about the gift of salvation. For us to understand everything that has been freely given to us by God has to be by the Spirit of God dwelling in us.

Think of it. What has God given us? Life. Provision. Salvation. Redemption. His Spirit. His Son. Himself. His word. Repentance. Faith. Grace. Mercy.

All of it and so much more.

13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.

Christ must change our minds: that is why we must be careful in what we say

We are not to use our wisdom when speaking spiritual things to spiritual people. Spiritual people--believers. There are some who call themselves spiritual and have nothing to do with God. That is true--because they worship a demon.

1 Corinthians 10:20 (CSB) No, but I do say that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons!

14 But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.

Christ must change our minds: we do not understand the spiritual without the Spirit of God

15 The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, and yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone.

Christ must change our minds: if you have the Holy Spirit, you can evaluate everything

Unbelievers who suppress the truth in their depravity only see things blindly. God has opened our eyes so that we can see him and enjoy him and be with him forever.

16 For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Christ must change our minds: Christ has given us the three things...

  • The Father's heart
  • The Holy Spirit
  • His own mind

We are new creation. We are born again. We get to live, move, and have our being in God alone.