When the disciples reached the other side of the sea, they realized that they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you still not understand or remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you picked up? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many large baskets you picked up? How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? (Matthew 16:5-11a, AMP version)
This passage cracks me up and encourages me at the same time! The apostles’ minds are set on the earthly -- bread. When Jesus speaks of leaven, their first thought is that he’s scolding them about forgetting -- bread. Jesus is wanting to teach them spiritual things -- to turn their attention to the Kingdom of God. The apostles’ minds are set on their earthly circumstances, their earthly needs, and their bellies! Jesus reminds them of how He had taken care of the needs of thousands supernaturally, on multiple occasions, and in abundance. He remarked on their lack of faith. They had seen with their own eyes the loving care of the all-powerful and living God yet they fretted about what they would eat!
Have you ever been so focused on your earthly circumstances or needs that you have forgotten about the supernatural, loving, faithful God we serve? I sure have. There are moments I have been so focused on my concerns and cares of the moment, or on my frailties, weaknesses and emotions that I have completely taken my focus off Jesus. Boy, am I comforted to know that the apostles, who were with Him in the flesh, could still be so earthly-minded and self-focused that they were distracted from walking in faith in Jesus. We are not alone in this struggle!
I want to encourage you to remember that Jesus will take care of every need and circumstance of your life. Refocus your attention back on the Bread of Life. Let Him remind you of times He has taken care of you in the past -- times of provision, protection, healing, an end to suffering. Remember the joy, hope, and blessing He brought you. Choose to trust in Him completely in all things and allow Him to show you the deeper things of His glorious kingdom where you can rest in His love. He awaits you!
Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 16:5-11a
By Gina Westlake