Yeast of Pharisees and Yeast of Herod

Jesus summarized what he has been doing with a sermon to the disciples after another trip in the boat. The subject this time? Two forms of yeast. This article explores.

Jesus Reviews feeding 5000 and 4000

13Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

14The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15"Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod."

16They discussed this with one another and said, "It is because we have no bread."

17Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"

"Twelve," they replied.

20"And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"

They answered, "Seven."

21He said to them, "Do you still not understand?" Mark 8:13-21 NIV

13And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

14Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.This one is a little strange with the "kai ei me" and "ouk" all sort of being melted together into "neither" and "more than". I put them all on "neither", and left "more than" untagged, but this should be reviewed. (!) 15And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand? Mark 8:13-21 KJV

In the common pattern of Mark, Jesus and the disciples get into a boat and cross the Sea of Galilee. With this trip a new parable is opened. The chronology is reset to 6020 AA, the year of Noah’s flood.

In this parable the disciples themselves find that they have only taken 1 loaf with them in the boat. This appears to cause them concern. The disciples appear not to have learned that Jesus can provide. As Jesus reminds, he had fed 5000 and then 4000 so feeding the disciples should not be a tough job for Jesus.

After reminding the disciples Jesus then warns them to stay clear of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.

The first reference, feeding 5000, showed up in an earlier parable and pointed at Jesus’ era (6020 AA + 5000 = 11020 AA, within days of the end of Jesus’ own earthly ministry.)

The second reference, feeding 4000, was woven into another prophetic story. But here, this story is retelling both in order, and they are measured from a boat ride. So the math runs more like this: 6020 AA + (5000 + 4000) = 15020 AA

Jesus Heals a Blind Man

22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"

24He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."

25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village." Mark 8:22-26 NIV

22And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. 26And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town. Mark 8:22-26 KJV

The next parable is taught at Bethsaida. This is a new place, but is not separated by a trip in a boat, so it is a chronological continuation of the time in the previous parable.

In this story Jesus leads the blind man out of town and there, in the remote place heals him so he can see. The blindness is severe and in the first pass at a healing the man can see only partially. At this point he has bad eyes, but can see some. After a second round of healing the man can see clearly.

Curiously, this man’s healing remains private.

Peter’s Confession of Christ

27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"

28They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."

29"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Peter answered, "You are the Christ."

30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. Mark 8:27-30 NIV

27And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 30And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. Mark 8:27-30 KJV

Finally, this section of the Book of Mark ends with a final trip along the road to the towns of Ceasarea Philippi. This region is named after Caesar who built up the cities so they could be used as a base for projecting Roman power in the area.