Jesus’ Warning to Apostles — Feeding the 4000, false doctrine & a two-phase healing.
Reading 1: Mark 8:1-26
Reading 2: Matthew 16:1-12
Reading 3: 1 Timothy 4:13-16
The more Jesus does signs, the more people want to see the signs He does. This is hardly surprising in a subsistence economy where Jesus can make food feed everyone! The word of a free lunch spreads quickly.
This also threatens the religious leaders, who can see how easily a teacher with power will draw followers away from their finely-tuned religion of self-effort and rule-keeping.
So Jesus warns His followers not to be taken in by the yeast (gas-producing, almost invisible, yet powerful influence) of the Pharisees. Every observant Jew was familiar with the concept of removing yeast because this was a key component of preparations for the Passover – an analogy for sin. Removal of yeast symbolizes purification and holiness, and an exodus from bondage.
Now it is God’s Word that purifies us, starting with the verbal instruction of Jesus to avoid the yeast infection of self-effort, and continuing into all the scriptures, as Paul instructs Timothy to teach God’s Word to his people, so that they will join him in staying true to the message (and freedom) of Jesus.
How is God’s Word setting you free today?
Have a great day!