“... why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? ... ” (Matthew 16:8-11)

“You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:8-11)

Is this really about bread?

Jesus is repeating an analogy he used to warn against the "yeast" of the Pharisees and Sadducees. But the disciples did not understand this analogy. Jesus said this after hearing this:
They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread." (Matt. 16:7)
Following this statement, it is then confirmed:
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. (Matt. 16:12)
This clarifies at least the subject of Jesus' parable of the yeast. But there is a deeper message being taught by Jesus regarding the institutional temple teachers (Pharisees and Sadducees).

And then there is Jesus' recollection of the loaves-for-five-thousand miracle. What does the miracle of the loaves have to do with the Sadducees and Pharisees?

Why does Jesus say they have 'little faith'?

The phrase "of little faith" here is being translated from the Greek word ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which means according to the lexicon, "trusting too little."

Jesus is clarifying that his miracles relate to trust in the Supreme Being.

Jesus is not speaking of faith in himself. Why would he? Jesus' students can see him right in front of them. So this is not about having faith in Jesus' existence. 

It is also not about having faith in God's existence. Since they accepted Jesus as their teacher, they certainly also accepted the existence of the Supreme Being. 

So what is he referring to them?

Jesus is referring to trust - "trusting too little."

"Trusting too little" means not understanding that God is in control and that He will take care of us.

Are we alone?

We are not alone here. Yes, when we look around we see other physical forms and things of the physical world that are decomposing and degrading. We also witness many self-centered people around us that could care less about us. So most of us are quite leery of others and have little trust in others and the things around us.

But we cannot physically see the Supreme Being - who is also with us. An expansion of the Supreme Being is right next to us in this physical body - the Holy Spirit. He is right here, taking care of us, and watching over us.

We cannot see Him because our physical eyes aren't designed to see into the spiritual realm - where the Supreme Being dwells.

In fact, we can't see ourselves either. Each of us is a spirit-person - a living being who resided on the spiritual dimension. And we are currently driving this temporary physical body much as a person drives a car.

Just as a person will often begin to identify with their car, we are identifying with these temporary physical bodies. Even as they decay and slowly meet their death, we still think this body is me. We think our temporary roles - our job, our family and so on - define us.

Yet this is not true. These roles and this body are temporary. They will only last a few decades and then they are done. For some, our roles in terms of our job may only last a few years. Then we'll have to leave that job and get another or retire.

While our bodies and the forms and things of this world are temporary, the spirit-self within is eternal, and the Supreme Being is eternally our Best Friend and Protector. He is always there for us. This is the lesson Jesus is trying to impart.

With the miracles of the loaves, Jesus illustrated what he had been teaching: That we should focus our lives upon God and not the temporary things of the world. Jesus is teaching that we should trust that the Supreme Being will take care of us.

Will God take care of us?

Instead of worrying about whether or not we'll have enough to eat, our focus should be upon our relationship with the Supreme Being. This is where our permanent happiness lies. Our temporary body will soon be discarded. It will be burned or buried under the ground where it will decompose.

God will certainly take care of our real self - our spirit-self. This is who we really are underneath this physical body. This is the root of our personality and the maker of decisions in our life.

Those who do not understand the spirit cannot know the spiritual realm. They cannot see into the spiritual realm. This physical world and physical mind block us off from our spiritual self and the spiritual realm. This is the design of the physical world - designed perfectly by the Supreme Being to give us the freedom to ignore Him and live out our desires to be the center of the universe.

Were the blind leading the blind?

This is why Jesus said this about the Pharisees and Sadducees:
If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Unfortunately, the blind guides are claiming they represent God. This is why Jesus compared them to yeast - because they foment an incorrect interpretation of the scriptures. Rather than understanding the mission and intent of Jesus and the prophets, they insist that the goal of religious practice is following ceremonial rituals.

Rather, what Jesus and the prophets taught is coming to know, love and serve the Supreme Being. They taught doing the will of God within a loving relationship that is the goal of spiritual life.

Yes, the rules and rituals may provide assistance to this goal as long as we see their ultimate purpose - of re-establishing our loving relationship with God.

Ironically, many modern-day institutions and their ecclesiastical teachers that claim to be following Jesus have also missed this focus. Instead of focusing upon coming to know and love the Supreme Being and doing the will of God, these modern-day institutions focus upon various rituals intended to "being saved."

They also deny the existence of the very Supreme Being that Jesus came to introduce us to. They think that Jesus is the Supreme Being. In doing so, they completely ignore the very person Jesus was representing and relying upon:
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." (John 12:47-50)
God, the Father who sent Jesus, has been forgotten by many of the ecclesiastical institutions that claim to be following Jesus. This is despite the fact that Jesus instructed us to give our love to the Supreme Being:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)