Unlimited: The Yeast of the Pharisees
Dec 31, 2020 1029
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand” (Mark 8:14–21, NIV)?
After feeding the four thousand, Jesus and the disciples travelled on by boat. But it seemed that the disciples haven’t learnt the lessons of the great miracles that Jesus had recently done.
Typically, the disciples weren’t following what Jesus talked about. Jesus was talking about his life-giving power, because that’s what bread does: It gives life.
Anyone who has ever done any baking knows that yeast almost seems to have a miraculous power. It makes bread and cakes to rise up, beautifully light and fluffy. But if you use yeast that’s old, it doesn’t work, and your bread ends up worthless.
When Jesus warned his disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees, he warned them that they have no power. They cannot give life. Their teachings are worthless.
Jesus referred back to when he miraculously gave bread to the five thousand, and he highlighted that there were twelve basketfuls left, and after he fed the four thousand, there were seven basketfuls left. Jesus highlighted these particular numbers because they have special significance.
For the Jews, numbers had spiritual meaning. The number twelve refers to the rule of God. And the number seven refers to his perfect, completed work.
Jesus was pointing out that when you accept his rule, he will perfectly and completely work to supply every need that you may have.
You can trust in him, even if, like the disciples, you forgot to bring bread in the boat.
Too often, like the disciples, we forget to bring bread. By this, I mean that the reason why we are in the trouble that we’re in is our own fault.
But Jesus is still merciful and kind, and has promised to provide for your needs.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Are you willing to simply trust in him? What do the miracles of Jesus teach you? Which ones do you need to revisit to increase your faith?