Jesus gives us reason to trust and believe in Him. Shortly after Jesus feeds a large crowd of over 5,000 people, He performs another miraculous feeding of 4,000 men plus women and children, using seven loaves of bread and some fish. After everyone is full, the leftovers collected amount to seven large baskets of food. But directly after this miracle, Jesus travels with His disciples to another district, where Pharisees demand a sign from Him that proves His identity as the Messiah. Jesus refuses to perform any miracle for the Pharisees, who will not accept what has already been witnessed by others as valid proofs of Jesus’ power and authority. Nothing seems to be enough for the Pharisees to believe in Him. In addition, the disciples who have already seen for themselves two miraculous acts of Jesus’ power in just the past couple of days seem to be easily affected by what Jesus calls “the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.” Just a little bit of unbelief is enough to affect even those closest to Jesus. As the disciples leave with Jesus to travel by boat back from where they came, they realize that they had forgotten to pack enough food for the journey. Concerned that they will run out of food during their journey with Jesus, they discuss the lack of bread among themselves along the way.
But Jesus detects this doubt saying, “Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears and not hear? And do you not remember?” Even after all the signs of His faithfulness and miraculous provision, the disciples do not trust that they have all they need in Jesus. They may not have bread, but they have with them the One Who provides bread in abundance. They have already forgotten Who Jesus is and what He has done. In reading about the disciples’ failings, we are quick to criticize them. But don’t we also fail sometimes to trust God completely in times of great need? Aren’t there doubts that can set in during times of want, even though Jesus continuously provides our every need and more?
In our fears, uncertainty, doubts, we can still choose to trust Jesus for all that we need. Jesus tells His disciples to “watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod,” because He knows that if they are watching for the presence of unbelief, the disciples will be able to not only acknowledge it but also choose to trust Jesus even more. Jesus has proven in His Gospel that there is no need He cannot provide for in excess. There is nothing too great that He has not conquered. Even in the midst of a bit of unbelief, we still have the choice to trust Jesus. He is worthy of our belief in Him.