Time after time when I look into why I struggle with relationship after relationship, often at the heart of it is my pride, such a heinous sin. I feel as I pray, God is saying to me, “back again, Robby”.
Pride leads to road rage, struggles in the service drive, struggles with car salesman, struggles almost anywhere you look. So a solution to pride would be huge, wouldn’t it?
What a challenge I find in Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done out of strife or vain glory: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.”
For me that is really tough to do, really tough to do I say again. So I decided to look into my struggle with the religious spirit. The Yeast of The Pharisees: The Religious Spirit Luke 18:11 “The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.“”
This all took me to Mark 8:14 “The 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.”
So I thought let me study real yeast. A study of yeast reveals some awesome stuff, as I read much on that this week here is the “readers digest version”. Yeast is a fungi that eats sugar and emits ethanol/alcohol. Those tiny bubbles of alcohol make wine and beer, also bread rises as a result of those tiny bubbles. The Jews have long taught that yeast puffs up as pride and so every year at passover they spend a week getting rid of all the “hametz”, leven or yeast from their houses, the original “Spring Cleaning”. Looking at the Pharisee above you see he is puffed up, but, as I studied the effects of alcohol I believe there is more to it, as there is so much about fermentation, (caused by yeast) in the Bible as well..
Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood stream through our intestines it then has a free pass to the brain through the blood brain barrier, it releases dopamine in our brains very quickly. Listen to what Psychology Today has to say about dopamine: “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”
Eye on the prize, “dopamine”, think about a drunk, flirting with all the women, thinking he can fight everyone in the bar. The yeast of the Pharisee has to do with the prize the Pharisee his eye on. The prize in the case of the Pharisees is their own Religious Kingdom, not God’s. They like the drunk have their eye on the wrong prize with a puffed up view of their own ability, drunk with power.
Now the yeast of Herod. He too, has his eye on a prize, drunk with civil power and puffed up with his eye on his own Kingdom not God’s.
Man oh man I see this puffed up concerned with my own Kingdom side of myself and need to pray like the Publican, Lord have mercy on me a sinner.
Still thirsting for answers to my pride sin, I proceeded with the story and found some huge misunderstanding I had..
MARK 8:16 “They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 Aware 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? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When 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.”
21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Clearly as I read that “no, I don’t understand why 5 thousand or 12 baskets left over or 4 thousand and 7 baskets left over, I never considered the significance of all that.”
So if you will allow me I will share the study that followed, once I agreed I didn’t really understand. I now believe if we go back to the scriptures we can unlock this mystery to some extent. The Torah/Old Testament started with 5 books and it fed 12 tribes. Jesus first fed the five thousand and between that and feeding the 4 thousand a few days later we have the story of the Canaanite women in Matthew 15:26 “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Right after that in Matthew 15:29, I mean right after that Jesus fed the 4 thousand. How many gospels are there, 4 just like the beginning of the old testament has 5 books the beginning of the New Testament has 4. Seven is the number of completion, the last of the seven words from the cross, “It is finished”
“What does that have to do with battling pride”, I kept asking?
Have you ever considered that when Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer that when we ask for our daily bread we are asking for Jesus?
Consider that with me: is Jesus the bread of life?
Was Jesus born in Bethlehem/ Hebrew for (Beth = House of) and (Lehem = Bread).
Follow along in John 6:32 “Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.“
No go back to the beginning of the Lords prayer since we have a little understanding of yeast and dopamine. Eye on the prize, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name, THY KINGDOM COME.” As we pray that if we really have faith and believe what we are praying we get the authentic dopamine buzz right… Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,”
Consider that the feast of Pentecost they wave ‘leavened” bread in other words Leviticus 23:16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord.
New Leaven, the Holy Spirit take a look at Matthew 13:33 “ He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name, THY KINGDOM COME. thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, Give us this day our DAILY BREAD“… New Yeast.
The Kingdom is God’s Kingdom where each individual reflects a unique aspect of God’s Glory, if I can see that, they have huge value to the Kingdom, If I can get my prize right and get my dopamine working on that reward there is no pride to concern myself with. That guy that just cut me off, or the lady with Time Warner Cable who just took an hour of my time and won’t help me still reflects God and if I can help call that out in her, the Kingdom is coming. I can only do that with my Daily Bread it’s the only chance I have to overcome pride….
Jesus the bread of life is the way to the Father who on Pentecost sent the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit I can see the scriptures, see Jesus sacrifice for me that blood cleanses me from all unrighteousness, yes even pride and allows me to have God as my Father the Kingdom coming as a son who sees other son’s as princes and kings. Lord help get this from my head to my heart.