Jesus said, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15). The disciple misunderstood Him, thinking He was referring to actual bread, and the frustration Jesus felt became all too evident when He stated: “Why do you reason because you have no bread?” (v. 17). He then continued the reprimand by reminding them of the miracles of feeding the thousands.
This event is a microcosm of the patience of Jesus; it never ceases to amaze. One might think, looking at the pitiful shape in which our communities, our country and even our world reside that His patience is obvious. Whereas that might be true, what I am referring to is more along the lines of patience with you and me personally, as He was with His disciples. And, is it not amazing that He maintains that patience even today?
Yes, you know you better than anyone, save God. Too often, it is not very impressive. We slip and fall into the same old problems and habits and sins that we have sworn countless times we will never do or say again. Worse, some new temptation rears its ugly head, catching us unprepared, and we cave. The frustrations and challenges of harnessing this old body can be burdensome, to say the least (Romans 7:19-24).
So, be thankful that we serve a God who is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus exhibited this patience over and over again. We are breathing because God is still waiting. We are living examples of the patience of Jesus.