Bread: Love It Or Hate It
Read Matthew Chapter 16
Mt 16:5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
We love yeast! One of my favorite breads is yeast rolls. I love its sweet taste, and how melted butter drips from it as I raise it toward my mouth. Yeast can be a good thing, but for some reason God ordered the Israelites to only eat bread without yeast during the Passover. No, I don’t understand it. Why would it be okay all of the other days of the year, but not during the Passover feast?
There is even a passage where Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to yeast.
Mt 13:33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
So, there is “yeast” which is good – the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is able to save all who believe. And there is bad “yeast” – the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The passage from Matthew Chapter 16 is referencing the bad yeast. By the time Jesus appeared on earth, the religious leaders of that day had gotten so far away from the truth of God that it bore little resemblance to its origins. Instead of leading the people to eternity, they were leading the Israelite nation away from the Lord. Their teaching was working its way through the nation slowly but surely, poisoning the eternal souls of all who followed them.
I can imagine that you know where this devotional thought is headed. What kinds of “yeast” are leading men and women astray in today’s society? It is the belief that homosexual behaviors are acceptable in God’s Kingdom. That yeast is leading men and women to believe they can indulge themselves in same-sex lusts and actions, and at the same time be Christians in good-standing with their Creator. That kind of yeast is leading men and women down the road to destruction and off into eternity without God. There is no difference between the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees and the yeast of church leaders who are misleading their followers.
Just recently, a national survey has shown that only around 3% of our population is gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual. It is nowhere near the 10% that the gay community has claimed it to be. When we think of it that way, there is only a tiny part of our population that this teaching affects. It takes only a tiny portion of yeast to cause a whole loaf of bread to rise. This tiny bit of false teaching could be mistakenly thought of as insignificant. “After all, it only affects a small percentage of the population.” But does it?
If the religious leaders of today can be mistaken about this one small bit of theology, can they also be wrong about other biblical concepts? If a preacher is wrong in regard to homosexuality, can he be trusted to be right on all the other beliefs he holds? I’m thinking he cannot. It is easy to see that once a religious community abandons a small part of the Truth, sooner or later many other Truths will be laid aside, and there will be little or no real truth taught. Indeed, a little yeast will eventually work its way through the whole loaf, and soon the whole batch of bread will be polluted.
Our Lord is so wise to warn us of the false doctrines which can creep slowly into a believing community. Once they take foothold, many other false doctrines find their way into the teachings. We must separate ourselves from any church group, any denomination, and any break-away sect which does not adhere to God’s strict and unchangeable warnings against living a life of unrepentant homosexual behavior.
Prayer: Lord, help us. Help our world, our country, and our religious leaders of today. Do not let any more of our friends fall away from truth. Restore those who have already left our camp. We are weeping, Father. Give us some comfort for our souls, so that we will not despair because of all we see around us.