Matthew 16:6, 11-12 ESV –
6 Jesus said to them [his disciples], "Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." … 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? 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 teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
There are some things I miss about my "old life" (life before severe chronic illness took hold). One of them is making bread. I did have a breadmaking machine for a time, but I much preferred making bread by hand (well, by hand, and with the help of my kitchenaid mixer). Kneading the dough for 6 loaves of bread for 15 minutes afforded uninterrupted time to pray, to wrestle things out with God. It never ceased to amaze me the power and influence of yeast (leaven). Such a tiny little organism, but too old, too little, too hot, too cold — and the entire batch of bread was ruined.
When Jesus instructed his disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, he was speaking of their teaching. Why beware of the "teaching of the Bible?" But what were they actually teaching?
Matthew 15:6 ESV –
6 . . .So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.
Mark 7:8 ESV –
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men."
The religious leaders had made it a priority to "interpret" God’s law to suit their advantage and their pride. But their most basic teaching was that they could earn God’s approval by their actions and their devotion. There was no need of a Savior. They could redeem themselves if they worked hard enough and were devoted enough to their traditions.
In other words, they could be their own god.
Even just one "little lie," one "did God really say?" can do such damage. It is so important that we study God’s Word, meditate, memorize — and obey. Trust that God’s ways are right and good. Trust that no, I do not "know better, or if only you knew my circumstance . . ."
What "leaven" have you allowed to take hold and grow in your mind? What lies that are contrary to God’s Word are you believing? When you identify a lie, see it as a lie, and replace the lie with the truth of God’s Word. Decide to believe God, rather than your own delusion.
Are you passing on any "leaven" that you need to reject?
The "leaven" of sin and unbelief does not have the wonderful, homey smell of freshly baked bread. It is the smell of death and destruction. In contrast, the psalmist praises the Word of God, and states:
Psalm 19:10 ESV –
10 More to be desired are they [God's precepts, rules, law, commandments, etc] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Honey is delicious on freshly-baked bread . . .