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Signs and Yeast - Day 19

You have a choice.

You can either read the reflection below or listen to me talk in the video here:










Matthew 15:29-16:12

 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

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.


I think it is important to point out the people’s response to Jesus’ healings, “they praised the God of Israel”. Jesus’ entire life mission is to point people to the Father, to provide a way to Father. Jesus again shows compassion on a large crowd by feeding them, but after this he is confronted by the Pharisees and Sadducees. They want a sign from Heaven, but Jesus offers none. To people who seek after him and pursue him and respond in worship to the things he does miracles. To those wanting proof and evidence and justifications, he gives nothing. There are already many witnesses and much evidence to Jesus’ authority and his teachings. They do not come with hearts open to receive, but rather looking for reasons to condemn. The yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees is a life lived without mercy, without the heart of the Father. It is a life that is ruined by a bad ingredient. We need to watch out for the things we put in our lives as well and ask this question. Does this help me to praise and worship God or does it just make me feel good?


You are invited to pray or to be prayed for. As we learn more about who Jesus is let us then enter into prayer and be shaped by him.



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