Hungry? Thirsty? You will be filled.
There was an awful lot to learn to keep up with the Pharisees. Jesus spoke about the burden that Pharisees put on people, “They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” That word picture is meaningful to most of us. We know what it means to carry something that is just too heavy.
Not only did the Pharisees offer a load to heavy to bear, they offered a food without the substance to satisfy and nourish. Matthew records early in his gospel account that if you are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, you will be filled. Matthew reveals as he continues to tell the gospel story that what he means is that Jesus is the source of satisfaction. Listen to him, eat his bread, and you will be satisfied; filled with righteousness.
Matthew was writing to Christians. He knew they wanted to be filled with righteousness. What disciple wouldn’t want that? But there have always been multiple messages about what teaching you should eat and drink in or to be filled. Some teachings just don’t do it.
So Jesus fed five thousand plus women and children from a small amount of bread. Then he fed four thousand more plus women and children from a small amount of bread. Immediately after he fed them, the disciples realized they had not prepared for the next meal. They hadn’t brought any bread onto the boat with them. Jesus told them, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” The disciples finally learned that Jesus was telling them to beware of the teaching and influence of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
You see the Pharisees, who were more influential when Matthew wrote these words than they were when Jesus spoke them, and the Sadducees who basically died out after 70 A.D., demanded much, but delivered little. Their teachings couldn’t fill the follower with righteousness.
Jesus could fill them, though. He can fill you! That’s Life at Work!