Beware the Yeast | Matthew 16:5-12

Scripture:Matthew 16:5-12 [NLT]

5 Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.” 8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? 9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. [NKJV]

v5,6 - We start off with an urgent warning from Jesus to His disciples. He had just finished a discussion with a group of Pharisees and Sadducees in which He called them "an evil and adulterous generation". The warning to the disciples was to "Beware the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

v7- The disciples were confused by Jesus' warning and decided that he meant for them to have bread available. It caused an argument that may have went something like this... " I thought you were bringing the bread". "No that was your job!" "It was not, you were supposed to.."

v8-11 - Jesus knew what they were saying so he corrects them with a bit of a chastisement concerning their faith. Here he is; warning them against the yeast of the Pharisees, and they almost immediately start to display signs of a "yeast infection". Their lack of faith was displayed in their inability to put their temporal needs aside, even with the amazing displays of providence from Christ in the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000, which happened just a few days before. Jesus seems to be saying that if their faith had been strong enough they would not have assumed He was talking about real food but would have understood the true meaning of His words.

v12 - Finally they get it. They now understand that Jesus is warning them about false teachings and doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Application: How often do we allow weak faith to cloud our judgement when it comes to the truth that God has given us in His word? Let me explain my question. Do your temporal or physical wants and needs cause you to miss or misunderstand the spiritual lessons that God is trying to teach you? I know that I can become so wrapped up in "life"; work, friends, entertainment, etc, that I forget to apply to my life the spiritual lessons that God has clearly taught me. I may even have spent so much time "doing it myself" that I lack the faith to trust in the promises of God.

Let me put it this way. Jesus lived His life as if all the promises of God were true. He never worried about whether or not He would have enough food to eat because he lived as though His food would always be provided.

Do you live a life that reflects a belief in God's word; His promises, His mercies, His guaranteed love? Consider how your life might look if you did...


Father in Heaven,

I ask you now Lord, to increase my faith. This morning I have spent time thinking about faith and trust in You and I realize that my faith is very weak and fragile. I know that You can help to build my faith and so I ask for that today and every day. Help me to live as though Your promises are true, because they are, not because I have somehow made them happen myself.

Forgive me of my sins. Thank You for forgiving me. Help me to live a life that shows that forgiveness to others.

Thank you for all that you provide in my life. Help me to never forget that You are the One that provides everything. Help me to always be thankful.

Be with my family today. Keep them safe and protected from the enemy.

I love You Lord. Amen.