Updated: Jul 15, 2020
AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #27
Beware of the Leaven
“And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Before the Holy Spirit came upon them, Jesus’ disciples were severely lacking in wisdom and understanding.
How often do we read the scriptures and understand so little? Even trained ‘preachers’ will give a message on the Gospel and misinform their listeners because they lack understanding and cannot obtain wisdom. And, why are we Christians lacking the abilities to see the context of God’s Word, to have wisdom and unable to obtain understanding?
Here is the full context of our verse today:
Matthew16:5 “And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread.
6 And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.”
8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
9 “Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?
10 “Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?
11 “How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
This Teaching begins with the words, “And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread.“
Then, Jesus remarks, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
These men were thinking about BREAD and Jesus addresses them at their point of NEED!
However, because their minds were fixed on a “temporary need”, they missed what Jesus was Teaching them. He would not only remind them that He addresses their immediate and temporary needs, but their Eternal Needs as well.
Another similar example is when Peter asks Jesus, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” Jesus’ answer was “So that we do not offend the tax collectors, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.” Peter was a fisherman, so Jesus uses the context of Peter’s life to meet his need.
Jesus meets all of our needs. It is important that we not become so obsessed with what we want, how we want it and when we want it, that we miss God’s provision for our life.
James says it well when he reminds us, “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT?
HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?
Let’s pray and ask for understanding and wisdom and God, Who gives generously without finding fault, will give to you. James 1:5
Your Brother and Friend,