Mark 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16 They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
There seemed to be much that the disciples didn’t understand and the gospel writer wants to help make clear. Jesus began telling them to be careful about the attitudes of the Pharisees and the infectious nature of Herod’s leadership. He was speaking metaphorically about the yeast working its way through into their attitudes. Again — they didn’t get it and they began worrying about physical bread. Evidently they didn’t bring enough with them for everyone and instead of understanding that Jesus was trying to teach them, they went off on a tangent talking about the bread. At this point Jesus doesn’t mince words and, speaking freely, he reminds them that he has been providing for their physical needs so that’s not the lesson! He reminds them that he provided the twelve and seven baskets full of leftovers — they had received all they needed. Physical needs had been met, but he was worried about their spiritual and emotional needs which were still highly influenced by the world.
How many times does Jesus have to teach us something for us to truly understand? The clear message to all of us is that he wants to help us with our physical needs. “Give us this day our daily bread!” He taught us to pray that way. Jesus didn’t give the disciples extra bread to carry around, which would have been a hassle and besides, it would have gone bad. Instead, in the very moment, he provided all that was needed.
At the same time, the seeds of doubt are sown by the attitudes of the world around us. We may witness first-hand the work of God in our lives and yet, tomorrow we may have doubts. This attitude was more bothersome to Jesus than physical food. He knew that the “yeast” of these thoughts or ideas would be destructive to the spiritual well-being of his disciples.
The same “yeast” can destroy us today. The seeds of doubt are sown by those around us, who would distract us from seeing God’s daily provision. Don’t you get it!!! I believe that’s Jesus’ cry to us as well. Take stock on all that Christ has done for us and don’t allow the doubts of the nay-sayers to influence us. We are to focus on Christ and all that he has done for us. This is where we are to live on a daily basis, in the new kingdom where the voices of this world have no place — because they don’t get it!
Lord, thank you for the reminder and encouragement to remember what you have done. Amen.
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