Scripture reading for April 27th: Matthew 16, Psalm 84, Proverbs 22
Matthew 16:5-12 “When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Our human tendency is to think naturally about the issues of life and provision. We look with our eyes, hear with our ears, and process through our experience or others opinions. Jesus’ disciples did the same with a simple statement of warning from Jesus where He used the term ‘leaven.’ Leaven is yeast used in making bread. These disciples had forgotten the bread and were now concerned with what they might eat. Jesus was speaking to them about deeper issues–the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which was their teaching of traditions of men instead of the Word of God. Jesus reminded them that their shared experience of the miraculous feeding of thousands twice should bring faith for the food needed.
Psalm 84:4-5 “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.”
Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I think naturally instead of with spiritual insight from Your Word and Holy Spirit. Give me discernment concerning the ‘leaven’ of false teaching and divisive doctrine found even in those claiming to know You. Use me to proclaim Jesus as the “Living Bread” of heaven. Use me to help those weak in faith to see danger and find strong faith through believing Your Word.
Proverbs 22:3-4 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”