Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Matthew 16: 9 – 12
In this reading, Jesus is reminding his disciples that the miracles that he has done, the feeding of the great crowds of people who had been following Him, was not just about feeding their physical hunger. Time and time again, he emphasised that the miracles were there to show that He had God-given authority. He is telling them to look at His actions, and then listen to His teaching. The Pharisees and the Sadducees had education, respect, spiritual authority, but Jesus was telling the disciples that they should be listening to Him rather than the accepted authority figures of their culture, when there was a difference in what was being said.
This was a difficult thing for the disciples to accept – it went against their culture, what they’d been taught to do and to expect. What about us? Who do we listen to when there’s a difference between what Jesus says, and what our culture or authority figures ask of us? Who do we follow?
Prayer: Beloved Lord Jesus, help me to hear your voice and understand your teaching clearly. Don’t let me be led astray by the culture and society that I’ve been brought up in, but day by day lead me ever closer to you, along the path that you have set before me. Amen
Action: Is there something about our society and way of life that Jesus is showing you doesn’t fit with his teaching and call? Think about whether you can do anything about this in your life or the life of your community.