Sit up and take notice! That’s what everyone should do when the smartest man in the world warns about something. Teacher, we’re listening…
Be careful…Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Oh, is that all? We expected something really menacing. Ok, relax everybody! It’s just a little yeast.
Nothing serious, is it? Yeast is just a microbial fungi that gets into something and then... gradually takes over THE WHOLE THING!
Uh oh! Jesus is warning against something that permeates and totally spoils everything it touches. The teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees!
Ok, I’m on the edge of my seat again. What’s their poison? Pride, self-righteousness, arrogance, a narrow condemning spirit? Probably not! These are results of their yeast or maybe the condition of heart that predisposed them to its work.
Then what’s the specific teaching?
It doesn’t matter. The Teacher doesn’t say. Because it’s any teaching that doesn’t change hearts, focuses instead on outward piety and performance. Ends up as evil in a religious costume!
Notice the Teacher called them wicked! There’s the key! The yeast is any system of teaching or approach to God that – in the end – doesn’t make a better person.
Danger! Beware there is religion that makes people worse. By their fruits you will know them!
Only the Teacher can change hearts. Make bad men good.