Journal Matt 16 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’
And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.”
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread…How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware the leaven of the bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees…” (excerpts of Matt 16:5-12)
Observation: Even the disciples had a “Homer Simpson” moment right before the “Ah ha!” moment. I get the feeling that they still were scratching their head even though they thought they understood…
Application: Earlier in Matthew 9:16-17, there was mention of “wine skins”:
“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst, and the new wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed.”
The comparison between these (cloth, wineskins, and leaven of Pharisees/Sadducees) is going back to the safety of the old ways.
What does that mean, I ask myself? (Really, I am asking myself—while I understand this in my gut, I have not thought about it out loud. That is a function of journalling—writing down your thoughts so that pondering is not a hit and miss memory function. Also, there is something to discuss with your mates about.)
Back to the story: The “safety of the old ways” could be the rote practice of “old religion” and not exploring what it is God is doing and emphasizing in my generation.
Acts 13:36 referenced a testimony about David:
“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep…
I have been a Christian for about 50 years or so…and confess my need of Jesus’ redeeming blood daily. And not many days go by wondering if I am serving the purpose of God in my generation.
It doesn’t have to be big stuff. I think of the widow’s offering in Mark 12:42-43:
“And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And [Jesus] called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box…”
A penny in the plate, and her work is memorialized for centuries—not to mention lauded in the annuls of Heaven.
Therefore, the question always is: Do I want to serve the purpose of God in my generation or, what?
What vision do I have?
Prayer: Father, what vision do I have? Am I radical for you or have I “rested” from pursuing you with all I have?
What do old guys do in a culture of youngsters?
Ricky Two Shoes