When you have a question about yeast, who do you go to? Dr. Oz. You find out more than you want to know when you go to Dr. Oz. Things like how your intestines are lined with all kinds of bacteria. Some is good. Some is bad. When the balance gets out of whack yeast can take over. And when yeast takes over all sorts of mayhem can ensue.
A few of the problems when yeast takes over include many chronic illnesses and symptoms like allergies, chronic inflammation, joint problems, mood and brain disorders, digestive symptoms and more.
The good doctor even lists ways to fight the overgrowth of yeast: Cut out yeast, use probiotics, and combat yeast directly.
You need to know about yeast. Not just because America’s Doctor says so. But because the Great Physician says so. In talking to his disciples Jesus warned them, “‘Be careful! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’”
The disciples understood yeast because they liked bread. Bread was a staple of their diet. That’s why when a crowd appeared in the “desolate place” and were hungry they found five loaves and two fish that they could share with five thousand men, plus women and children. They brought what they had to Jesus, he blessed it, and they passed it around until everyone was fed. They even had twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left for themselves. The word for “baskets” is a word for a lunch-pail-sized basket. A kophinos.
It would be hard to forget that experience, wouldn’t it? Especially when it happens again. A mere chapter later another crowd has formed. This time there are four thousand men, besides women and children. Same thing happens. This time they have seven loaves and a few small fish. And when it’s all said and done there are seven baskets left over. This time “baskets” is spyris, a larger basket than before. It’s man-sized (see Acts 9:25 where the same word is used).
Then Jesus gives his warning about yeast. The disciples think Jesus is talking about the fact that they forgot to bring bread. But Jesus is talking about faith. Specifically, “little faith.” “O you of little faith” he says to his disciples. He wants their faith to grow.
But sometimes unfaith grows instead. Jesus warned his followers of the “yeast” of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Their “yeast” is unfaith. Disbelief. Already the crowd is shrinking from five thousand to four thousand. It took less to feed more the first time around. Now it has taken more to feed less. Disbelief can spread like yeast. Jesus says to “be careful.”
So how do we “beware” of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod? Following Dr. Oz’s advice about yeast might actually help us be careful and beware.
- Cut out yeast. When you spend more time around unbelief than you do environments of belief you may find the yeast spreading. When you see the yeast of unfaith spreading in you get away from it immediately.
- Then use probiotics to build up good bacteria, or faith. Faith fights unfaith. The early church gives us a prescription for probiotics: spend time receiving teaching, share, break bread and pray with others, meet together, and share meals. They praised God and were liked by all the people. Time with places where faith exists builds up faith.
- And third, combat the yeast directly. Remembrance combats the yeast of unfaith. Throughout the Bible God has always had his people do things to remember: sing, set up stones, pray, take the bread and cup. We need to remember because we are prone to forget. Remembrance combats yeast directly. Remembrance reminds us of who Jesus is and what he has done.
When that happens the bad yeast will take a backseat to the good. Your spiritual health will improve. Your faith will grow and spread.
And bread will have never tasted so good.