Matthew 16.1-12 | Gluten-Free God
Topic: New Testament Passage: Matthew 16:1–16:12
Intro | Gluten
Last Wednesday, as we began to lead the men’s weekly Bible study, what was a 20 year never-puke streak came to an end—20 years down the toilet…literally. In the days following, I had some violent fetal-position digestive issues seemingly unrelated to food poisoning or a virus. As I evaluated my diet, there was only one consistent element: BREAD. Had God chosen to curse me for my unrelenting mockery of all things organic, whole-grain, and genetically un-modified? Did my stomach feel like a balloon full of glass
twisted in knots because I was allergic to gluten?
The ‘G’ word; up until about a decade ago, 99% of us had never heard of the word gluten. In truth, mankind has been eating wheat, and the gluten in it, for at least ten thousand years. Gluten is one of the most heavily consumed proteins on earth created when two particular molecules form a bond in bread making. As bakers knead dough, this bond creates an elastic membrane, which is what gives bread its chewy texture and permits pizza chefs to toss and twirl the dough into the air. Gluten also traps carbon dioxide, which, as ferments, adds volume causing the loaf to rise. Essentially, gluten is an unseen catalyst that, by its very presence, causes change and makes an increasing number of people sick (1 in 133).
Jesus and Bread
Why am I talking about puke streaks, pizza, and proteins? GOD LIKES BREAD. From beginning to end, bread plays an important role in God’s story and in Jesus teaching. In Scripture, bread was used to miraculously feed the Israelites who fled Egypt, bread was used in consecrating the priests, bread was used to represent God’s presence in the temple, bread was used as a sacrifice of thanksgiving, bread was used as a memorialize redemption, bread was used by Jesus to identify himself as the giver of life, and bread was used by Jesus to symbolize the new covenant which accomplished it. And, over the last two chapters, we’ve seen Jesus perform two miracles with bread to feed the people physically while pointing to a spiritual feast yet to come. Read more.