NIV - 20 "And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?" They answered, "Seven."
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Just before the verse cited in the question, Jesus had told the apostles to beware of the "leaven" of the Pharisees and the Herodians. (Leaven, or yeast, is a fungus or bacteria used in the baking of bread to make the dough rise while being baked.) The apostles (as they often did) mistakenly thought that He was speaking literally, and that He was referring to the fact that they had brought only one loaf of bread along in the boat in which they were crossing the Sea of Galilee. However, Jesus (as HE often did) was speaking instead in metaphorical (not literal) terms, and was comparing the false teaching of the Pharisees and Herodians to yeast, because of the way in which it would "infect" those who heard or followed it, in the same way in which a little yeast would permeate an entire loaf of bread. When Jesus responded to the apostles' misunderstanding by asking them about the many baskets of "leftovers" that had been gathered when He had miraculously fed 5,000 (Mark 7:35-44) and 4,000 (Mark 8:1-9) people with just a few loaves of bread, He was trying to get them to see both that He was not speaking of bread in literal terms (as noted above), and also that they should not be concerned about such earthly matters, because He had already made it obvious that, if there were not sufficient bread, He (as God) could supply it, which He wanted them to have the faith to understand and believe.
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