Wednesday, April 26: Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees


MarkThe Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' role as a servant. Join with us as we venture through one section of this vital gospel that recounts many of Jesus' actions during his ministry years.

Read Mark 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. "Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod."

They discussed this with one another and said, "It is because we have no bread."

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? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"

"Twelve," they replied.

"And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"

They answered, "Seven."

He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"



This time it was the disciples who were short on bread and hungry. Jesus tried using the bread-providing miracles to teach the disciples about faith, but as was so often the case, they seemed to miss his point completely. Jesus warned them against the "yeast"—the close-minded, hard-hearted perspective of the religious leaders.


Yeast is often used in the Bible as a symbol for evil or corruption, from the way a tiny bit of it can quickly permeate a large amount of dough, fermenting it. What kinds of yeast can damage our faith today? Ask God to give you the wisdom to discern and the will to avoid that yeast when it appears.


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