June 8, 2014

Leaven of the Pharisees/Leaven of the Church – Jacob Stringer

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

In Mark chapters 6 and 8, we see Jesus performing the same miracle twice: feeding crowds of thousands with just a miniscule amount of food to start with. There were many other things which Jesus did in His lifetime that were miraculous, but these occasions stand out to many as some of His most amazing feats. Can you imagine being one of the five thousand in chapter 6, being hungry and having no idea what you are going to eat, when all of the sudden Jesus takes five loaves and two fish and starts passing it out for everyone to share? It must have been quite strange for many of those who were there. One can only imagine how some probably where upset or disappointed upon seeing this, thinking that there wouldn’t be enough to provide for everyone. But we know, as the story goes that everyone was filled and twelve baskets were taken up of the leftovers. What a spectacular event to witness! However, this event didn’t seem to stick in the minds of the apostles in chapter 8 when they were eating on the way to Bethsaida, and Jesus told them “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” They thought He was meaning that they didn’t have enough to eat. Jesus responded critically to this in verse 18 when He said, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?” The apostles, as they often did, missed the point completely. Not only did they take for granted the signs that Jesus performed, but they misunderstood the meaning of “the leaven of the Pharisees,” which as we see in Matthew 16:12 referred to their hypocrisy. Many times we as Christians can miss the big picture as well, when we fall into petty sins and forget about the most significant event of all, Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. Jesus’ blood was provided to save us from sin, not to give us license to live as we please. So I pose this question: What is the leaven of your life? Let us be careful to avoid sins which can permeate our minds. Sin can infiltrate us by the things and people we associate with. 1 Corinthians 5:6 says, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” Flirting with sin is never safe. Hypocrisy was the leaven of the Pharisees. Let’s make our leaven be love and godliness. Hebrews 10:24-25 reads, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Let’s have this attitude in our hearts and strive to spread our hope to others as we walk with the Lord.

 

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