The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
by David Thompson
I always prided myself in my knowing my uncle. I shouldn't have been prideful but unfortunately I was. He was a one-time country preacher that moved up through the denominational ranks to be an influential pastor in a fairly large Hamilton, Ontario, church. During his time as a pastor he also created "Crossroads Communications," a weekly television show that developed over the years into the current daily show called "100 Huntley Street." I can remember many times that I looked to him when others like him were falling from grace. I knew deep in my heart that he could never fall prey to the wiles of women, power or money.
It was always easy to look to him and quote something that "Uncle David" said as gospel. He was dependable after all and seemed to be on top of his games at all times. However, even my cousins, my uncle's sons, gave in to bad choices. It can happen to anyone and did. It was a scandal and it hurt the ministry that my uncle so lovingly nurtured. Like many other ministries, the founder aged out and retired giving the leadership to their children. This was true for my uncle as well.
So what does it have to do with today's passage? Plenty I would say. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were respected leaders. When they spoke, many listened. Jesus was in a boat with His disciples when a thought crossed His mind. "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." He said and of course His disciples misunderstood at first, but Jesus explained that the two groups mentioned here spew all kinds of incorrect doctrine. It was valid then and is valid today. Jesus' words warn us to weigh all that we hear from our spiritual leaders carefully and not to be mislead by those words. We are to take what is good, discard what is bad and move through our Christian walk correctly. When the controversies involving this church or that charismatic leader come up, let us not be misguided. Pray that the Lord would guide you past the harmful issues. As in today's passage, let us remember who feed the 5,000 and the 4,000 and also did so many other miracles. We need to follow His teachings all the time.
Jesus, thank you for so many great examples to learn from so we can follow you better. Help us to ever be mindful of who is "in charge." It is you, Lord Jesus, and will always be you. Thank you for all you do for us. Amen!