29 February 2016

Leaven of the Pharisees

“Now they had [completely] forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And Jesus [repeatedly and expressly] charged and admonished them, saying, Look out; keep on your guard and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod and the Herodians. And they discussed it and reasoned with one another, It is because we have no bread. And being aware [of it], Jesus said to them, Why are you reasoning and saying it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet discern or understand? Are your hearts in [a settled state of] hardness? [Isa. 6:9, 10; Jer. 5:21.] Having eyes, do you not see [with them], and having ears, do you not hear and perceive and understand the sense of what is said? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many [small hand] baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? They said to Him, Twelve. And [when I broke] the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many [large provision] baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? And they said to Him, Seven. And He kept repeating, Do you not yet understand?”
Mark 8:14-21 AMP

Jesus wasn't talking about not buying yeast from the Pharisees. He was trying to show His disciples that they didn't need to rely on their own strength to provide for themselves. 

The disciples wanted bread. What's their first response? To worry about it. Why else would Jesus ask them to recount how much in leftovers they collected when He fed the 5,000 and the 4,000? He was warning them to not look to the methods of the Pharisees to be their provision. He was warning them to not follow the thought patterns and wisdom of the flesh. God is to be our provider, and Him alone. What that looks like, from moment to moment, varies from person to person. But the journey is the same: to reject what our flesh tells us and choose to operate in the supernatural.

God, I adore You, so much. I'm continually amazed at the extravagant nature of Your love, and of the way You care for me. I'm so deeply grateful for the conversations we've had and look forward to so many more. Keep teaching me, keep leading me, increase my faith and understanding, in Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!