Numbers 26-28 Mark 8
“His followers had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat; they had forgotten to bring more. Jesus warned them, ‘Be careful! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’” (Mark 8:14-15 NCV)
There were times when it must have been maddening to be around Jesus. He was the master of the parable, the turn of phrase, and the double entendre. The disciples never knew whether to take Him literally or bring out the salt shaker. They were leaving the scene where Jesus fed 4000 people with seven loaves of bread, and they realized they only had one loaf among themselves. There was probably more to the discussion going on, but I’m sure that they discussed how they were going to get more bread when Jesus broke in, reminding them not to partake of the yeast (leaven) of the Pharisees and Herod. When they stared at Him with unknowing eyes, Jesus reminded them that it didn’t take much bread to feed people using His plan. Then He let them know that they shouldn’t accept the yeast (often a symbol of sinfulness) that came from the religious or the state.
There is a natural inclination for people to seek solutions and solace from religion or the state. Religious solutions tend to focus on following laws and doing prescribed tasks. People who do those things, in the religious belief, are in good standing with God, and that brings solace. Pray this way, give this much, attend religious services so often, and then live your life in this prescribed way to make God love you. Doing those things can lead to comfort, and ultimately a sense of pride. Jesus tells us to avoid that kind of life. He also tells us to avoid depending on government to take care of needs. Government is the best, or perhaps the worst, of humanity ruling over people. Government takes money from people and distributes it as they see fit. Most of the ways that government distributes it are designed to perpetuate its own power. It’s interesting to note that Jesus said that right after He took care of feeding many hungry people Himself. Too often, when God’s people push tasks onto the government, they use it as an excuse not to participate in ministering themselves. Maintain a joyous fellowship with God and you won’t turn to religious practices; live in joyful obedience to God and He’ll use you to meet needs.
Lord, thank You for the joy of knowing You. Keep me in a joyous relationship with You no matter what the circumstances may be. Help me to show Your love to others in my everyday life.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.