So, what is the yeast of the Pharisees? It is that which could permeate and grow within us becoming the compelling force of our lives. The yeast which permeates us can be fear, self effort, hoarding, over responsibility, perfectionism, approval seeking, bickering, or power over others rather than living out of the abundance, generosity and graciousness of God. God has done it for us. Jesus said, "beware". Has he not been inviting us to see, hear and understand in a different way? He invites us to live a watchful life with him in the present moment. This is a radical invitation to trust in God rather than in ourselves.
Mark 8: 14-21 (NIV)
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 yeast of 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?”
For Reflection and Prayer:
As you listened to or read the text, was there a word, phrase or image which stayed with you? Be still with it for a while. Ask Jesus, is there more that he says to you?
What do you notice in the disciples’ response through this story?
What is your own experience of scarcity? Or forgetfulness? Or responsibility? How does Jesus meet you there?