What does it take to get us humans to understand what this life is really all about? It is so easy to make our lives about bread. By that I mean that we go about our day so focused on what we will eat, what it takes to get the money to buy the bread, who we are going to eat it with, or how to get an award for having the most bread in the neighborhood that we lose touch with what the bread is really for in the first place.
Bread is simply a means of fueling our bodies so that we can be about our life's real business. Jesus doesn't propose a low-carb diet, but He does want us to lay off worrying about the bread. He is constantly trying to get us to stop focusing on the worldly issues of this life and see beyond to the spiritual.
In Mark 8 the disciples were once again on a boat. Jesus made a statement to them. It was a spiritual statement. They heard it as a chastisement for not having enough bread for them all to eat. Be careful, Jesus warned them. Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod. The disciples looked at each other and remembered they only had one loaf of bread. Evidently one of them had forgotten to pick up some extra loaves before they set out on their journey by boat. Their breadless plight was the first thing on their minds.
Jesus was not too impressed with their lack of understanding the meaning of what He said to them. He wasn't talking about bread at all, but about the sins of the Pharisees and of Herod. He implied it might be easy to get caught up with Herod or the Pharisees because they appear to desire God. Their beliefs are like yeast that will infiltrate all faith if the disciples are not careful about whom they align themselves with. Jesus was astounded by their hard hearts. How could they even consider that Jesus was warning them about not having enough bread? He recalled to their attention that he had fed thousands of people with plenty of bread to spare on two occasions during the previous months. How could they worry about bread when they had seen Jesus do all that?
It's a good question from Jesus, but one that is not easy to answer. How do we stay so earthly minded? We are good at it. From the time that we were infants we have had one thing on our mind: getting our tummies filled. It takes faith in God to trust Him to take care of the bread in our lives and free up our brain power to understand the spiritual realities He is trying to teach us. In Mark 10:21 Jesus asks, Do you still not understand? I want to ask you the same question. Do you still not understand that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ changes everything you ever knew or thought about your life? Do you not understand that you do not live by bread alone? Mark 10 contains lots more challenging questions from Jesus about our spiritual lives. In verses 36-37 He asks, What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If your life is all about bread and what that represents, you will miss out on what life is really all about. A low-carb, breadless diet is all the rage right now. Do you give as much consideration to your spiritual diet as you do to what you will eat today?