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  • East Martin CRC

The Yeast of False Teaching

Matthew 16:5-12

Verse 6 “Be careful, ”Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Don't you kind of feel sad for Jesus constantly having to deal with the disciples slipping back in their thinking? They keep stepping back into thinking about things in the physical nature. Because they were thinking about their empty stomachs they couldn't follow Jesus' train of thought about the Pharisees and Sadducees.

As we have been following Jesus in the way of the cross we have been seeing His run-ins with these religious leaders. He knew that the real spiritual issues in Israel were the same as they had been for years, gaining followers for themselves instead of leading people to God.

The fact that Jesus felt the need to remind the disciples that they had little faith shows that the disciples were just normal guys that He was training for bigger things. Jesus knew that they were struggling to see past the physical needs. He had fed over 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and then had fed over 4000 with 7 loaves all in front of these men and yet they were concerned because they forgot to bring bread for the 13 of them. It seems they only believed He could provide for them if there was something to multiply. They couldn't quite see that He was able to make something needed out of nothing.

The fact that they couldn't see the power He really had meant they didn't really yet see who He was. That is why He needed to remind them to watch out so that they didn't fall for the false teaching of the religious leaders. If we don't see the truth of who we follow it can be too easy to end up following someone else. The Pharisees were sure that they were telling the truth, they would have sounded so confident. If one wasn't solid in their understanding of the truth of the Scriptures they could easily be taught things that didn't quite fit the truth. The same warning is given to us. We need to follow Jesus closely so we know Him well enough to know a false teacher when we encounter one.

Making it personal

What is the best way to know a false teacher? What steps are you taking in your life to make sure you don't fall for a false teacher? What did the Bereans do in Acts 17:11 to make sure they were hearing truth? Is this a tool you use too?

Making it personal kids

Scavenger hunt time! See if you can find five things of which you have a real one and a fake one. As an example maybe you have a real dog and a stuffed dog. After you have your five items talk with your family about what makes them real and what makes them fake.

Closing prayer

Father, thank You for showing us truth. Help us come to know You and Your Word well enough to know when someone is leading us away from truth. Continue leading us in the way of the cross. In Jesus' name, amen.

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