Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 66
Matthew:16:5-12 The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:16:1-4 The Demand for a Sign
(see also: @Mark:8:13-21)
What is God doing?
"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees".
Take heed and beware. Whenever you hear the Lord say this you are well advised to take heed and beware. Take heed and beware of what? The bread for tonight that you mistakenly left behind at the last town that you forgot to pack? That the Pharisees seeing your breadless plight might be offering you some wacky leavened bread of their own?
"How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees"?
So how is it that they do not understand? Better, if they did not understand this simple analogy what else have they missed?
What is man doing?
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
I have no logical explanation of how the disciples came to this conclusion other than forgetful shame. It is like when you awaken a drifting coworker at the meeting table with a question of what they think. It is not like the disciples are even remotely close to the initial concept presented by Jesus. In the previous devotion we watched the Pharisees and Sadducees once again walk face first into their own slapping stick. Today we see the disciples once again blindly whiffing with their own stick at a spiritual prize seemingly far above their heads.
"Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees".
With the Pharisees and Sadducees we essentially have two vastly different forms of doctrine. They essentially share the law together and that is it; but even at the point of interpreting the law they differ. Yet Jesus appears to be lumping the two opposites together into one loaf, combined like dry yeast and water creating one common dough altering effect. Without getting into the particulars of their respective doctrines we can plainly observe their one common effect, a vehement hatred for Jesus and His gospel. That is the one direction any and all human made doctrines to various extents tend to gravitate. They are either insulted and offended as in the case of the Jews (ultra religious) or they consider it all foolishness and senseless as with the Greeks (intelligentsia). From those two extremes are layered the all the other corruptions of truth that are at enmity against God's expressed and revealed truth through Jesus.
What may be of greater concern is the effect that these many directions pull the fabric of the divinely given law and prophets and history that the disciples possess as these groups claim ownership of these instituted articles and make them to be something drastically other than what they are. This is a constant source of confusion and possible corruption for the disciple and therefore the saint. Thus Jesus exhorts "beware of the leaven..."
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
The natural mind is in deed at enmity with revealed spiritual truth. Only those born again with the indwelling Holy Spirit's leading can escape this otherwise unavoidable repulsion. That is the only source from which unleavened uncorrupted doctrine can come from. That is the only source from which we need look.
Taking heed is just as much about searching these uncorrupted sources out as it is closing those other sources off. The types of men and women for us to gravitate towards are the types of people who seek out and discern and hunger/thirst themselves for pure spiritual doctrine. Beware of those people who either have no doctrine or have the doctrine that is either offended in Christ or sees His gospel as senseless. Beware of those many other views that closely attach themselves to any of that.
Oh, and if it is your responsibility to bring the bread for the group for tonight? bring the bread!
Next: devotion:Matthew:16:13-20 Peter 's Confession of Christ