YEAST

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MUSINGS – March 24, 2019
YEAST

Matthew 16:5-12
The disciples had forgotten to take any bread along when they went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus said to them, “Be careful! Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” The disciples had been discussing among themselves that they had not taken any bread along. Jesus knew about their conversation and asked, “Why are you discussing among yourselves that you don’t have any bread? You have so little faith! Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many baskets you filled? Don’t you remember the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many large baskets you filled? Why don’t you understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” Then they understood that he didn’t say to watch out for the yeast in bread, but to watch out for the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The disciples had forgotten to resupply themselves for their journey. It was part of their duties to provide the necessities for themselves and their master. The scripture reads, “The disciples had been discussing among themselves that they had not taken any bread along.” Knowing men as I do, I think they were playing the blame game as to where the fault was to be placed. They literally had just picked up seven baskets of bread pieces that were left over from when Jesus had fed 4,000 men plus women and children from seven loaves of bread. And now they were concerned that they had brought no bread with them.


The disCUSSing was loud enough that Jesus could hear them. Jesus, as he so often did, turned it into a teaching moment by saying, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” And, as so often happens, the disciples misunderstood him. They were still thinking of literal yeast that causes bread dough to rise.

Can’t you just hear the exasperation in Jesus’s voice when he said, “Why don’t you understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? At last they understand that he was speaking about their doctrine.

Matthew Henry* wrote, “The corrupt principles and practices of the Pharisees and Sadducees are compared to leaven; they were souring, and swelling, and spreading, like leaven; they fermented wherever they came.

Today, we must always weigh the teachings of our leaders against the teachings of Jesus. Compare the path where they lead to the path of righteousness in the scriptures. Prepare yourselves by immersing yourself in the study of the Way, the Truth and the Life.

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*Matthew Henry was a minister and author,  who is best known for the six-volume biblical commentary of the entire Bible.

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All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Willuams

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