My New Favorite Passage

Mark 8:14-21 (refer to passage at bottom of the post)

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod


Warning: I’m not going to talk about the Pharisees and Herod in this post. That is essentially what this passage is about, but once again something else caught my heart and mind.

Oh disciples…. We scold them for their “dumb” questions and doubts when Jesus is with them, but we are so much like them in our own personal walk with God.

In this passage, the disciples, after Jesus feeds for thousand with 7 basketfuls left over, only brought one loaf along their next journey.

As soon as Jesus mentions “yeast”, all the disciples assume Jesus is scolding them for not bringing more food.

Jesus responds, perhaps annoyed, who knows, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand?”

He reminds them of the miracle He just did, feeding thousands and producing enough bread for left overs.


Don’t we do this so often in life? Assume the smallest thing that doesn’t matter will get us scolded by God? We focus on the wrong things, the most minuscule, forgetting the big picture.

I worked at the conservation center at the Phoenix Zoo this past summer. It was not a fit for me. My gifts were left unused and I uncomfortably forced myself to be someone I wasn’t. Anyways, throughout the experience I struggled, struggled to make friends with my coworkers, struggled to do well in the job, struggled to be content in a miserable situation. None of this was small, but to God it was.

He wasn’t looking to me to be perfect or receive the approval of others. Those were small things in His eyes.

He knew the big picture, He just wanted my eyes to remain on Him and His power, just like He reminds the disciples.

An, through the yeast, He is trying to teach them some thing so much more important than what is on their mind. Just like He is always teaching us something bigger and better when we are sometimes focused on the small.

So, just because He mentions yest to you, probably doesn’t mean He’s scolding you for forgetting the bread.

“Earthly things don’t matter. They just fade and shatter.”

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeastof the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

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

17 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? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

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

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”



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