Being an estimator, numbers just seem to jump out at me sometimes. This morning was one of those times. Now, I think this is strictly coincidence, but in the Gospel Jesus refers 2x to the number of times he fed the crowds ( 5,000 in number and 4,000 in number). In feeding the 5K, he had 12 wicker baskets if food remaining; 7 wicker baskets remaining after feeding 4K. So what jumped out? What is the coincidence? Today is February 19. 2-19. Twice (2) He feeds the crowds with nineteen (19) wicker baskets of food left over. I know, I’m a dork. Let’s move on.
The other day I made a loaf of Amish bread but the problem was I used bad yeast. Instead of a nice, fluffy loaf of bread, I ended up making an Amish brick. Such is the importance of using good yeast. If you’ve never made bread or don’t understand the purpose of yeast, today’s Gospel might not make much sense. It went over the Apostle’s heads…
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
Granted, I have the hindsight of many years of interpretation, so if I were on that boat, it is more than likely that would have gone over my head too. When Jesus refers to the “leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod”, He was speaking of the kind of yeast that would make your bread a brick. Their message, their intentions were not to given to “broaden” the hearts of man but the message of the Pharisee’s was to point out how sinful man was and look down on them for their sinfulness; Herod was just out for himself. So from what I’ve been taught and what I’ve come to understand, Christ was warning the Apostles not to fill themselves with that “yeast”, that “leaven”, but to turn to God who is the pure “leaven” and the “yeast” that will make us all rise and be a good bread for others.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
Do something great for our Lord today – let His yeast, let His leaven, permeate your soul. Let your soul rise and give the glory due His name. Take that risen loaf of bread and help feed the people.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.