Lord, help me listen to You and be open to new insights from You today. May I hear Your Word and act upon it.
Read MARK 8:14–21
14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhom do you listen to most days? From whom and where do you gather your ideas?
Yeast is great for making bread. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is like yeast working through a loaf, transforming it invisibly from within (Matt. 13:33). But here he warns about a dangerous, different kind of yeast coming from the religious elite and the ruler, Herod (15).
When the Pharisees questioned him, Jesus set an example by moving quickly away then warning his disciples about their
ideas. When the disciples did not understand, he rebuked them like an Old Testament prophet: “Open your eyes! Open your ears! Use your brains to understand what is going on!” Today we have to guard against tacitly accepting ideas and values from opinion-formers and leaders who do not take account of Jesus. This is not about doctrinal dogmatism (the Pharisees loved
that), but about the way of love, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)
and the lordship of Christ (Mark 8:29).
It is a challenge to be active in the world and not infected by its
values. The New Testament churches faced the same problem,
as Paul’s letters show. But Jesus’ warning gives us no excuse.
Ask God to give you his values and to open your heart to the people and current events that he is concerned about.
God, protect me against influences such as the Pharisees had, influences like pride and self-righteousness.