Matthew 16:6 NLT, notice “6” as a reminder of spiritual death, comes a simple and short story of how anything that we use to do out of love can easily TURN into “work” or sacrifice IF we are NOT on guard or concerned about the condition of our hearts as Jesus warned His disciples about this same “yeast” among the Pharisees and Sadducees.
“6“Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
If you have time to read the whole story, verses 5-12, it is really a lot of wisdom in such a short story.
First, I see a lesson on love and sacrifice. The disciples forgot bread, which I guess was something they would normally be led to remember out of love and forgot.
Second, comes a lesson on how LEFT BRAIN we are.
And lastly, how all this links to a deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
In simplicity, their teachings were about sacrifice and exchange. Where we had placed so many rules in our lives that our relationships and intimacy suffered.
“What man led to complicate via knowledge, Jesus came to simplify via faith.”
Now to their defense, the Pharisees and Sadducees were only producing what the Levitical law intended. But Jesus had to call them out so He may open the eyes of the disciples and us.
He had to show us what He came to fix. And like I said, they were Levites, ordered by Moses to yield their swords on their own people(Exodus 32:25-29), but what is our excuse?
Well post Calvary, we don’t have one, and let us not take for granted the lessons learned in the “Old” and may it serve us as a reminder of what Jesus came to fix.
Remember Jesus said that He would send the Counselor to “remind” us of everything He had taught the disciples.
Matthew 16 NLT
Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
“5Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6“Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”7At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”12Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Exodus 32 NIV
“25Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. 27Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ” 28The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”
I didn’t want to believe it either, but it is true. But it also gave me rest, compassion and forgiveness for what they did to Jesus and the disciples. They truly did not know what they were doing.
It wasn’t their fault, they were only carrying out the orders of which they were given and the fear of the Lord is truly the beginning of ALL wisdom.
John the Baptist, as the last Levite to have the anointing of the Holy Spirit declared, “I must decrease so that He must increase.”, was a statement about the Levitical law and heart. The Levite reign was over and justice was about to meet grace. And what transpired here, may it also transpire in the believer’s heart.
Gotta go, but please remember my kids in prayer, we got the stomach bug running around.
In the name of our King Jesus Christ, amen.