Year 2 Day 350
Read - Mark 8:14-15
Message - Alan Burke
Bread is one of those every day items that many of us don’t spend to much time thinking about. It is a staple for breakfast and many a lunch and there are many wonderful varieties, shapes, sizes and types that cater for many different tastes. Most of the bread that we eat is dependant on a little microscopic fungus that helps it rise called yeast. We have dried yeast in sachets and packets that we simply add if we go to the effort of making bread ourselves but it wasn’t until 1825 that yeast similar to what we have in its present form was produced. Before then what was used was leaven. Leaven was a little bit of yesterdays bread dough that already had the naturally occurring yeast in it. When you add yeast/leaven to bread it helps it rise, it only takes a tiny amount, just a little bit of it to transform the dough. What Jesus here does is take the idea of yeast/leaven (the NIV 84/11 translates Leaven as Yeast) and use it here to speak of the Pharisees and Herod.
Look back in your bibles though to what came before, Jesus had just fed four thousand people with seven loafs and there was an abundance left over (8:1-9). Then they once more get on the boat, Jesus and the disciples and there the penny drops, the disciples realise they only have one loaf to feed them all. I hope that as you think of this you understand the irony. Like really, what were they at? These disciples were physically present with Jesus when he fed the four thousand and these disciples are worrying about their bread.
They had seen Jesus do miraculous things but they are caught up with the temporal worries of life. It’s half understandable, after all, bread was one of those necessity's of life, they would have been reliant on it, the Lord’s prayer, ‘give us this day our daily bread’ well bread was what you eat in the main. For us we have cupboards filled with stuff, but the same meaning, give us this day what we need. These disciples are worried for their daily bread, their temporal needs when they are in the presence of the God incarnate, and to that Jesus says “be careful”, or if you have the ESV or the KJV before you you’ll read ‘Beware’ beware of the leaven or the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod. This warning of Jesus was because of their unbelief, because there was a very real danger ahead of them.
This warning of Jesus to the disciples, to us, Beware is one that we should sit up and listen to. “Beware, watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” This leaven was their unbelief, unwillingness to hear or see, their opposition to the plans and purposes of God in Jesus and the false teaching of the Pharisees. These disciples were unaware of how they were in this, their worrying about their lack of bread, well it was their unbelief, that Jesus was warning them, that they were in danger of just being like those who were in most opposition to Jesus. Their worry about the temporal, their lack of bread was a sign of their unbelief. It can be easy for us to fall into the trap of unbelief wondering how we got there as we get caught up in the every day circumstances. What we need to do is be on our guard, because think about it, if we start spending time with someone who’s aways doom and good before we know it we are going to find it hard to be anything but doom and gloom, other people rub off on us, what they say impacts us, when we are surrounded by others who are constantly disparaging God and His word it is hard to take it serious and believe it and that is what the father of lies the Devil is trying to do.
We have to be careful, on our guard that it is not the leaven of the Pharisees or Herod, or Boris, or false teachers, or the gossip, or the grumpy so and so, or family member that is against the gospel, or the what ever it may be doesn’t leave us in spiritual ruin. That causes us to start thinking to ourselves well you know ‘they have a point’ we compromise for the sake of those around us, we end up becoming impoverished, we end up listening to the world and not our God. Let us beware, because like leaven/yeast it only a little to make a big impact!
Q102 What do we pray for in the second petition?
In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come, (Matt. 6:10)) we pray, That Satan’ s kingdom may be destroyed; (Ps. 68:1,18) and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, (Rev. 12:10–11) ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; (2 Thess. 3:1, Rom. 10:1, John 17:9,20) and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened. (Rev. 22:20)