Yeast infection

MV614 006=LR

Mark 8:14-21

Parallel Text: Matthew 16:5-12

Remember the last post in which we saw the encounter Jesus had with some Pharisees; they demanded a sign and Jesus refused to give them, and went back to the boat. In this passage, they are out in the boat when Jesus who, apparently out of the blue, tells them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod. (Matthew recalls it as “Pharisees and Sadducees”)

The disciples have no idea what he is talking about, and assume He is referring to the fact that they only had one loaf of bread.  Jesus reminds them of the fact that He can make that one loaf into thousands if he wants to and seems incredulous at their lack of understanding. By now, you should see that there is a pattern here: Jesus has an entirely different point of view than everybody else. He isn’t concerned about the merely physical, about the things of this world. The disciples, on the other hand, see things the way everybody else sees them; physical, practical, earthly, here and now.  They don’t understand where Jesus is coming from most of the time, and frankly who can blame them?

Don’t most Christians think the same way the disciples were thinking?

“Of course Jesus is at the center of my life, yes I am following Him wherever he leads, absolutely I would do anything to help build His Kingdom… but right now I’m too busy.” “Well, I don’t think He means I should have to do that!”

No, they didn’t understand what He was talking about.

Matthew tells us that Jesus was referring to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees in 16:12.

The disciples might have stopped to think about what yeast represents in Scripture: SIN!

But Mark mentions Herod, was Herod a teacher? In a way he was, just like President Obama is in a sense a teacher. He was their political leader, and held great influence with many people, as does President Obama (or whoever might hold office). We have already seen how the Pharisees and Herod viewed Jesus as a threat to their positions, and the Sadducees would be right there with them… this guy needs to go away!

Think about the conversation Jesus has just had: After feeding the 4,000 by a miracle, the Pharisees wanted a sign. That demand was itself a sign, for it announced in a clear and unambiguous way that they were going to oppose Jesus and the Kingdom everywhere they encountered it.  They would use their influence, along with that of Herod (strange bedfellows indeed) to stop Jesus at all costs. Beware the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod!

It’s time to get a clue boys!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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10 Responses to Yeast infection

  1. paulfg says:

    Love how the boys always look at the loaf. Jesus picked the loafers. Always gives me great encouragement.

  2. Don my good friend ~ as do you , the read is telling indeed. Thank you for your insight. ~ Amen :Y

  3. I always find your posts inspiring, which is why I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Whether or not you enjoy blogging awards, I hope you’ll be encouraged that your readers are indeed drawing inspiration from your work! (Badge and Details: )

  4. scythewieldor says:

    If the Herodians (besides teaching things that contradicted Moses for Herod’s sake) reported to Herod on things that would undermine his political interests, fear that the Herodians might hear you saying things that needed to be said might be some kind of leaven.
    Have you been afraid of losing status in your denomination if you said what you really think?

    • Don Merritt says:

      As for your question, I’d say no I haven’t, and I say what I really think quite often.

      • scythewieldor says:

        Well, maybe I wish I had written ‘have we’ instead of ‘have you’ – the rhetorical you, so to speak. I have known the personal you to be honest and tactful – a fine example of gentleness.

        • Don Merritt says:

          LOL, well thank you! Funny story, when I was an associate professor the “big” professors always wanted to start theological debates with me in the faculty cafeteria. When I became tired of this, I brought in my awards for the two national champion debate teams I was on as an undergrad and put them in my office: They stopped picking fights after that! 🙂

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