…But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Jesus calls us to His Kingdom and to be His disciples. This is a radical call and it is rooted on the foundation of a revelation of WHO Jesus is – the Son of God (Matthew 16:16).
To follow Jesus is to disregard and ditch the old ways of your life and embrace His ways. This includes the old religious systems we were a part of or ascribed to.
These old religious systems are embodied by the Pharisees (Legalism) and the Sadducees (Liberalism).
- The Pharisees appeal to strict adherence to outward conformity, through the addition of extra rules and law to their faith, and then burden the people with these expectations to perform, where God does not.
- The Sadducees are rationalists. In their intellectual pride the Sadducees denied the resurrection, and so also deny any part of the faith that is potentially offensive to the mind or to worldly wisdom.
Jesus warms us against the leaven of each of these.
There is a danger to your faith in each of these because each appeals to the carnal nature and is contrary and in opposition to the ways of the Spirit of God. Both are rooted in pride – pride of external performance and pride of intellectual superiority. And pride is offensive to God (James 4:6).
And Jesus says it is like leaven or yeast. In the same way that a small pinch of yeast causes the whole bread to rise, it only takes a pinch of pride before your whole life is puffed up and you are living in opposition to God.
As always with the words of Jesus, it is a warning we would do well to heed.
PRAYER: Father I ask you to forgive me for the sin of pride. I humble myself before you today and ask that you enable to see the areas of potential pride in my life. Thank you for your enabling grace through Jesus your Son, Amen.