It’s not about the bread, are you dense?

If the topic weren’t so serious, this passage would make me laugh–ok, it did, I confess. The disciples forgot to stock up for the trip, someone forgot to gather bread, while Jesus continues to teach. They were on two completely separate trains of thought!
Matthew 16:5-12, Mark 8:13-21

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One Reply to “It’s not about the bread, are you dense?”

  1. Jesus’ ministry is now in full swing, constantly moving, preaching, teaching and healing. Opposition is mounting and Jesus is fully aware of the timeline that is before him. His disciples aren’t quite up to speed with what’s going on. The Pharisees and Sadducees, religious rivals, seem to agree on one thing, Jesus is bad for business. The verses just before this passage seem to combine the groups, this is not good.

    Jesus begins to teach his disciples:

    Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    The disciples, on the other hand, are looking around for the bread they were supposed to gather for this next trip, they were totally focused on physical bread. There is no such phrase as politically correct in this group, Jesus immediately calls them out:

    You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand?

    Hello disciples! Time to wake up! Get with the program boys, this is serious stuff.

    Jesus rebukes them with strong words, “you of little faith.” I chuckle when I read this, then quickly wipe the smile from my face. Far too many times have I completely missed the words I needed to hear because I wasn’t tuned into what Jesus was trying to teach me at the moment. Our ministry is a serious one. Sure, we must take time to laugh and play, but we must always be on the lookout for the yeast of those who would destroy us, who would take us down.

    The beauty of this interaction is this: Jesus didn’t toss the disciples out of the boat. He knew their hearts and was speaking strongly to them to get them back on task, the thing that really mattered. If Jesus could take care of feeding thousands, don’t you think he could manage a few? But that’s not the important part of the lesson. Don’t listen to the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees!

    Jesus doesn’t have a list to remind them of the times when they were a bit dense, though it’s apparent that happened. Perhaps this is for our benefit, well, at least for mine. So many times I’ve missed an opportunity because I was caught up in the details of looking for bread rather than listening to what God wanted me to hear.

    Lord, forgive me for missing the point over and over again. Thank you for not reminding me of my failures, but for encouraging me to keep moving forward.

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