“I am perfectly self-aware and my self-awareness tells me I am right.”

“I have self-diagnosed myself and my self-diagnosis says there’s nothing wrong with me.”


All the disciples were thinking and talking about was what they were going to eat for lunch. No one had brought lunch for this trip. There was one loaf in the boat (Mark’s account) so they had something, but this was never enough for these men.

Jesus then sees something that they were never going to see.


“When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.  “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? 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 v 5-12)

Throughout the Bible yeast is represented as sin. The celebrating of the Passover was to be done with the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the removal of yeast from their houses for 7 days. It all pointed to Jesus being the Bread of Life who was without yeast/sin. On the boat Jesus warns of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod. The disciples begin to argue again about them having no lunch because clearly Jesus was referring to their food, wasn’t he?


He was seeing what they should have seen. They had witnessed 2 miraculous crowd feedings from 5 and 7 loaves of bread. They are now grumbling about having no bread (or one loaf in Mark)! Their problem is not in what they see but in what is hidden. Their problem is a severe lack of self-awareness.

In short:

  • The yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod is the hidden sin that pervades throughout their life. On the surface they appear religious and successful but underneath are attitudes and motives that are not true and that are failing. Eventually they will consume the house they are in causing it to collapse.
  • This yeast can cause even the disciples not to see or hear what is right in front of them. They can see the miracles and hear the teachings but fail to see who Jesus is and He is right there in the boat with them.
  • For us today, don’t let the unseen attitudes of the heart, the yeast, block you from recognising the hand of God in your life.

Dig deep and find that yeast.

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