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)While this sums up the realization of Jesus' parable of the yeast, there is a further message being taught with Jesus' comments regarding the ecclesiastical Jewish teachers (pharisees and sadducees).
What does the miracle of the loaves have to do with the sadducees and pharisees?
"You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?"Jesus is clarifying that his miracles relate to trust in the Supreme Being. The phrase "of little faith" here is being translated from the Greek word ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which means according to the lexicon, "of little faith, trusting too little."
Jesus is not speaking of faith in him. Jesus' students certainly see him right in front of them, so it is not about having faith in Jesus' existence. It is also not about having faith in God's existence because as they accepted Jesus as their teacher, they accepted the existed of the Supreme Being. So what is he referring to them?
Jesus is referring to trust - "trusting too little."
"Trusting too little" means they were understanding that the Supreme Being is in control and that He will take care of us.
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 and greedy 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 do not 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.
And 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 think that this body is me. We think that our temporary roles - our job, our family and so on - defines me.
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-person 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, and trust that the Supreme Being will 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.
Meanwhile, the ecclesiastical sectarian institutions such as that represented by the the pharisees and sadducees teach that we are these physical bodies and while some teach that the Supreme Being exists, they imagine a Supreme Being that is either void or a vague impersonal force.
This is because they do not know the spiritual realm - they cannot see into the spiritual realm because they are immeshed in their temporary physical identity. They can only see with the physical eyes. In other words, they do not know who they are, what to say of knowing the Supreme Being.
Yet they are pretending to represent God. This is why Jesus is comparing 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 - pleasing 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 a person sees 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." (Matt. 22:37-38)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Devotional Translation - translated from the original Greek texts.)