Jesus said to them, â€œTake heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â Matthew 16:6 (WEB)
When Jesus gives me a warning â€“ itâ€™s important! Here He tells me to â€œBewareâ€. Sounds like He is warning me about something that I might miss or think it is of no consequence. It could be something that if I am â€˜lazyâ€™ or ambivalent â€“ I could be in serious spiritual trouble.
Jesus tells me to put up my â€˜guardâ€™. What is my guard?
The Armor of God
(from Ephesians 6:10-17)
The Helmet of Salvation that I know with certainty that I am bought with a price and the Child of the King.
The Breastplate of Righteousness not anything I can earn. It is a free gift. It is Jesusâ€™ righteousness (His relationship), given to me. I can enter the Holy of Holies and be with You, Father.
The Belt of Truth seal it on me with the Blood of Jesus. I want to hear and know only Your voice. All others are deceivers.
The Shoes of Peace ready to take the Gospel into all the world. I speak peace into all my storms, all winds and waves â€“ peace.
The Shield of Faith Father, increase my faith. Increase the shield above my head, below my feet, and around my body. Holy Spirit, be my rear guard.
The Sword of the Spirit, The Word of God Lord, increase my hunger for your Word. May it be nourishment to my spirit.
And Lord, wrap me in the cloak of humility. All glory, honor, and praise belong to You. I am only an ordinary instrument in the hands of an extra-ordinary God. Seal me in the Blood of Jesus. I charge warrior angels around me. I consecrate all that I steward to You, Lord. Use me this day as You will. Amen. (my paraphrase)
Yeast is a tiny â€˜bitâ€™ that does permeate throughout the substance. Jesus is warning me that these â€˜tiny bitsâ€™ can change me â€“ for better or worse. In this scenario, Jesus is warning His disciples and me that â€œPharisees and Sadduceesâ€ are something dangerous to my spiritual health. Who are they and why did Jesus not have compassion for them as He did other sinners?
Pharisees and Sadducees were leaders in the church and Jesusâ€™ problem with them was their lack of love and their abundance of self-righteousness. They took the â€˜lawsâ€™ and viciously used them to make the practice of their faith into something that had no resemblance to God and the relationship He desired with His children. God does not tolerate being misrepresented.
It would be easy to say that I would never let a â€˜personâ€™ pull me apart in my relationship to God. But I must remember that Jesus warned me about â€˜tiny bitsâ€™. Looking more at people (preachers, prophets, authors, teachers, etc.) and spending less of my OWN time with God. Missing worship or Bible study because â€“ I can watch _____ on TV or just listen to a CD. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with these other â€˜thingsâ€™ by themselves but I must pay attention to my relationship with God and treat it as the precious priority that it is. Jesus warned me.