Thought I'd share this with you guys today.

Ever since yesterday night, I made it a point to spend at least one hour with the Lord. Hadn't been reading the Bible very much, and so I got back into it.

Just a note before I begin my sharing : Bible fundamentalists believe that there is no error, be it historical, scientific, factual etc. But Catholics and most Protestants know that there may be errors in history and facts and such. All the same, to fully understand it, we need God's guidance. The guidance of His Holy Spirit.

And so well, yeah. I was alone. It was past midnight. I continued reading the Gospel of Mark, where I left off from yesterday. Five chapters a day under the influence of the Holy Spirit ? Now that's refreshing, I tell you.

The two stories I'd like to share with you are both from the Gospel of Mark, and both of them have something gotta do with bread.

The first one :

Jesus wanted to be alone and pray, and so he and his disciples took a boat and got to the other side of the lake - but everyone who saw him knew him - and so they all gathered there. There were five thousand men in all. (Now, we don't know whether this means five thousand people, or literally five thousand men, implying that there could be more women and children too. Either way, it's a big crowd). So when Jesus saw this huge crowd gathering there, he was moved with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And so he taught them many things.

When dusk came and the people were hungry, he had no heart to send them out to the villages - again, moved with pity. The disciples asked Jesus to send the people out to the nearby villages to get themselves something to eat. He said, "You yourselves give them something to eat." But all they had were five loaves and two fish ! (Now, imagine, what would you do with five miserable loaves and two senangin-sized fish ?)

Jesus took the loaves and the fish, gave thanks to God, blessed them, and distributed them to the people. And would you like to know what was left of the loaves and the fish, after being eaten by those five thousand men ?

Twelve baskets full of leftovers ! And all the people who ate, they ate their fill.

The second story :

Jesus and his disciples were in a boat somewhere in the middle of the lake, and the disciples had forgotten to bring along extra bread - they only had one loaf left with them.
While they were checking the bag for more loaves of bread (or so I think), Jesus told them to be wary of the "yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod".

Now, for the uninitiated, the Pharisees were the Jewish elders of that time. They were like spiritual leaders. However, the Pharisees weren't doing their job. Previously, they were handed down the law of Moses, which was a spiritual law for people to follow. This time, they weren't at all following the law of Moses. Instead, they were treating customs handed down by men as God's law ! The Gospel of Mark even mentioned, at one time, that the Pharisees practised this custom, just as an example : if say, someone has the capacity or something to help his parents, but says "it is Corban (i.e. korban, belongs to God)" then he is exempted from helping his poor parents. Now, which spiritual law will ever teach us to do this stuff ? That's an abomination, and Jesus was speaking against this and a lot more sins that the Pharisees did.

As for Herod, he was appointed by the Romans to be leader over Israel (and mind you, Israel at that time was the joined land of Palestine and Israel). Well... I guess he was no better than the Pharisees. I'm yet to know more.

Right, back to the yeast. The disciples thought that Jesus was saying this because he knew that they only brought along with them one loaf of bread.

They didn't understand.

Now that I've told you the two stories about bread, here's what I'd like to share :

What I understand is this -

It is evidenced from the first story that Jesus taught the people many things. These things are like food, they nourish us. Unlike the food that we eat everyday, which periodically makes us go hungry, this food, no matter what the quantity, they're enough to feed the world and will never make us go hungry again. This food is God's Word. And from the look of it, I guess the people were well nourished ! And Jesus did say, "I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me shall not hunger."

This food - this special food is like yeast - yeast grows. It expands, making the bread bigger and somewhat more filling, I suppose. Influence of the Word of God is like yeast. It can spread. Similarly, the bad influences of the Pharisees and Herod were like yeast. They have been spread to the multitude, and the Pharisees especially - they were the cause of the sinful ways of the people of their time. We have to be very wary of sinful influence, no matter where it comes from. God has given us the ability to discern - to judge between right and wrong, even if the definitions of "right" and "wrong" have been distorted in today's world.

Well. With the Word of God, my mornings are refreshed. :)

Guys, no matter what your faith may be - do share with me your very own experience of God !


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