Be careful,â€ť Jesus said to them. â€śBe on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.â€ť
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, â€śIt is because we didnâ€™t bring any bread.â€ť
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, â€śYou of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Donâ€™t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How
is it you donâ€™t understand that I was not talking to you about bread?
But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.â€ť 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the
Pharisees and Sadducees
Matthew 16. 6 -- 12
Jesus spent time developing his disciples faith because he knew it would be essential for the task ahead of them. For over three years they attended a school of faith with Jesus as their instructor and the scriptures as their textbook. Sometimes Christ used verbal instruction , but many of the lessons were taught through demonstrations . He healed the sick, cast our demons , fed thousands, and calmed the sea. Their training even included test that revealed if they truly believed Jesus was the Messiah.
At times the disciples understanding was slow or faltering , but Christ never gave up on them. He reproved them when they exhibited a lack of trust .
He said to his disciples, â€śWhy are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?â€ťMark 4.40
But also commended signs of progress.
â€śBut what about you?â€ť he asked. â€śWho do you say I am?â€ť
16 Simon Peter answered, â€śYou are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.â€ť
17 Jesus replied, â€śBlessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. Matthew 16. 15 -- 17
His objective was to firmly establish their faith so he could accomplish his work in and thorough them after his ascension. He commanded his men to spread the gospel of salvation to the remotest parts of the earth. Without faith they would have failed.
The Lord has the same goal for us -- to increase our faith so we can do the work . He's planed for us . If our faith is great, he will entrust us with the challenges and achieve amazing things through us. But small faith limits God's activity in a believer's life. He uses us only to the degree that we trust him.
Faith building is essental in a believer's life and God has two primary means of doing this. Scripture tells us what to believe about him and test placeus in a difficult situations that stretch us to believe and rely on God instead of our own understanding . Each time we believe him our faith grows.