Who knew? I remember the day, months ago, that we heard about a virus that was beginning to spread in China. So, the very next day people in the United States stood in long lines to buy toilet paper until it was gone. They fought over it. They secured it in their homes under lock and key. My thought was what kind of virus is this? Exploding diarrhea? Why does it involve toilet paper? I didn’t get it then and I still don’t get it.
A few days later, no bread. People who professed to be on no bread, Keto diets were in a panic because they couldn’t buy the bread they were not eating. I still don’t get it.
Then there was shortages of all kinds of items we weren’t buying but felt like our freedoms of buying them were taken away so we horded what we could find. Yeah, I still don’t get it.
Panic is not wisdom. Panic makes life worse than it was before the problem began. I did panic for a few hours. I am not proud of the panic. Then, after prayers of wondering, I worked to find a solution from God. I had flour. I made bread.
So, don’t blame the disciples or judge them because they didn’t get what Jesus was saying. They had just experienced the miracle of feeding 4000 men plus wives and children at the big church social with a few loaves of bread and fish. (And, this wasn’t the first time Jesus did this.) So bread was on their minds…”Hey, did you get some of the leftover bread, Matthew?” “No, I thought you got it, John!”
“Great, now Jesus knows…” They just didn’t get it…at first.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
“AH, NOW WE GET IT…”
We can miss the obvious even when we are doing God’s work with Him in obedience. Sometimes we get busy doing and miss being and learning about Life from Him. Suddenly, we miss the point of His teaching altogether. It is in these moments we pull back and begin to horde what we have, who we are and keep it all to ourselves. It is also in these moments of insanity that we become venerable and weak.
The evil one knows when we are weak and goes on the offensive. He throws our emotions into these weird places of panic as he plants selfish thoughts. We can ignore them. We have been power to ignore them from Jesus. Or not. We have been given freedom to choose giving in or reaching up.
Once we give in, our giving attitudes turn sour. We pull back. Our sharing ceases. We begin to horde whatever we have whenever we are distracted from the Bread of Life. These evil thoughts, like yeast gets worked into our minds and permeate our being. We become more like the joyless, critical, judgmental, and deeply insecure Pharisees and Sadducees and less like Jesus.
Do we get it, now?
It is not about the bread to buy and horde that goes stale and moldy. It’s about the Bread of Life who never changes in His love for us, always working for us not against us, teaching us the best road to travel, protects us on the journey and who brings peace in the middle of all our storms. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one can take or snatch us from His loving arms. No one.
Dear Heavenly Father,
When world situations suck the breathe from our lungs, You restore the joy of our salvation and give us hope once more by reading and meditating on your Word. Thank you for this pep talk this morning. Thank you for Life eternal. I can breathe again. In this world we will have troubles, but we will also have you to help us through it all if we only believe. I believe.
In Jesus Name, Amen