Daily Radio Bible Podcast
A TALE OF TWO LOAVES
Today’s readings are Job 22 and Mark 7 – 8. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
We have a tale of two loaves, it seems. Two times in this one chapter we are confronted with a shortage of bread. There’s not enough bread for the crowds, and there’s not enough bread for the Twelve, as they’re sailing on the boat.
As Jesus looks out over the hungry multitudes he asks his Disciples how much bread they have. And they respond that they have 7 loaves – 7 loaves for thousands! That’s not enough. Later, they’re back on the boat, and Jesus hears them talking about the one loaf of bread they have remaining. They realize that they don’t have enough bread with that one loaf, among the twelve of them. And this time Jesus responds with a cryptic message – Beware the yeast of the Pharisees.
Yeast expands something. It makes something appear bigger than it is. It inflates. And Jesus is reminding them that either way, whether it’s with the crowds or with the twelve, there’s not enough bread.
There’s not enough bread in this life. We will always come up short and we’ll end up fainting on the journey. Our bread, whether it’s 7 loaves for a multitude or one yeast-filled loaf – it’s not enough. What we need is the Bread of Life. Jesus is saying that He, alone, is the Bread of Life. The bread of our efforts – the yeast-filled life of our piety and self-righteousness – can appear to be big and inflated, but it’s never enough. Jesus says, Don’t be deceived. Beware of that yeast-filled bread. It makes itself seem sufficient, and big, and inflated. But it’s not enough. What we need is what God alone can provide. We need the bread of Heaven – the Bread of Life. When we have His Bread there is always enough. In fact, there is Bread left over – basketfuls!
This reading is a tale of loaves of bread: 7 loaves for the crowd – not enough; 1 yeast-filled loaf for the Twelve – not enough. Only the Bread that came down from Heaven, is enough. In fact, it is more than enough. And that’s the Bread we need each day. We need the healing, sustenance, vision, and courage, that comes from eating His Bread. Let’s partake. Let’s come to Him today, relying on what He brings to us – the bread of life.