A Clay Jar

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Guard Against the Yeast of the Pharisees

Matthew 16:6

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“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Matthew 16:6 NIV

Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that feeds on carbohydrates and produces fermentation. It is used in baking to make bread rise and in brewing some types of alcohol. Yeast, or leavening, is commonly mentioned in the Scripture. Most commonly, although not always, it pictures a corrupting influence. During the Passover, there was to be no yeast in the homes. All of their bread was to be unleavened. In one of Jesus’ parables, the kingdom of God is compared to yeast working its way through a ball of dough. And in this passage, it is being compared to the teaching of the primary religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Teachings that they are to be on their guard against.

A small amount of yeast is sufficient to transform a dense ball of dough into a loaf of light and fluffy bread. It works its magic by spreading throughout the dough and impacting all it comes into contact with. With yeast in bread, this is a good thing. But Jesus was more concerned here with the impact of false teachers and their influence on the body of Christ. Sometimes the falsity of their teaching is evident and easy to separate from the truth and reject. But often, it is more subtle and has the appearance of truth to it. And, when it does, it can quickly work its way through the church. Then, as it does, it slowly corrupts the body, turning us from our devotion to the Lord and his truth.

Be On Guard

We need to be on our guard against teachings that are not entirely in line with the revelation God has given to us in his word. Today, there are many teachings, or beliefs, that have the appearance of wisdom. But, rather than drawing us closer together and to our Lord, they end up dividing us. We need to be like the Berean believers and evaluate our existing beliefs against God’s inspired word. As well as anything new that we hear. Hold fast to what is true. And reject anything at odds with God’s revealed truth as found in the Bible.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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