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.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the story of the 4000, after the story of the 5000 was to set up the disciples wondering about not bringing bread in the boat in chapter 16!

    But more than bread - teachings.

    Teachings that stressed laws over motives, actions over intent, a checklist spirituality...

    Teachings that pointed toward outward actions that weren't motivated by hearts for God.

    Remember the past few days, where Jesus brought up the heart of the matter.

    Again, let me echo David:
    Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.