READ: Matthew 15:29--16:12
THINK: Once again, just as He had been with the crowd of over five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21), Jesus was moved by compassion for the people and proceeded to do a miracle, providing very much with very little--and having plenty left over. Yet, despite miracles like this and all of the healings Jesus performed, there were still many people--including His disciples--who struggled with a lack of faith. Many of the religious leaders still weren't satisfied and demanded to see another sign from Jesus.
RESPOND: How could people witness such powerful miracles, hear such godly teaching, and experience such genuine compassion, yet still have doubts or even hateful feelings about Jesus? Why did the Pharisees and Sadducees (see Matthew 3:7 note and chart on Jewish Sects, p. 1306) want a miraculous sign from Jesus (16:1)? Do you think it would have changed their perception and attitude toward Him? Why or why not? Why did Jesus not give them what they wanted? In what way did the disciples show a lack of faith by worrying about bread? What did Jesus mean when He told them, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees? (See 16:6, note.) In what way was their teaching like the yeast?
PRAY: Consider what Jesus has done in your life and what you have known Him to do for others. Thank Him for His power and compassion. Ask Him to help you overcome any doubts or lack of faith.
ACT: If there is any area of your life or circumstances in which you have struggled with a lack of faith toward God, ask Him to forgive and help you. But even more, take a step of action that somehow demonstrates that you are trusting God in that situation or area of life.
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