By Colleen Donahue

What did Jesus mean when He cautioned us to be on our guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees? In these verses we'll study the ......

Warnings From Jesus Concerning False Teaching

Studies continued from Matthew 16:5-12

Day 1- Because the disciples had forgotten bread and crossed into Gentile territory, they had bread on their minds. Here on the other side of the lake, they would not be able to get bread that a Jew could eat. Leaven is a little piece of fermented dough that when inserted into a loaf of bread allows it to rise and then be baked. But to a Jew, leaven in a philosophical sense stood for an evil influence liable to spread through all of life and corrupt it.
Galatians 5:8-9

Day 2- Therefore , when they had special festivals or offerings they did not use leaven in their bread -- symbolizing the absence of evil.
Exodus 12:19-20 / Deuteronomy 16:3-4

Day 3- So what is the evil of the Pharisees and Sadducees that Jesus is warning against? The Pharisees followed a religion of laws and commandments. They started with the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) as their base but then went on to add volumes of man made laws that soon overtook in importance even God's law. Man's outward respectability before other men were more important then having a right heart towards God. As you read these two sections in Matthew, make a list of what Jesus had against the Pharisees. Then you'll understand why he warns us to beware of similar people today who maybe aren't called Pharisees but none the less act the same way.
Matthew 15: 3-9 / Matthew 23: 1-33

Is Reform Possible Through the Political Process?

Day 4- In the case of the Sadducees, these were wealthy men that were deeply involved in politics. There are two ways that men in every society think that change can come. The first is by money and the second is by political action. Neither will produce lasting results and I believe the Lord warns of that here. But... How is real reform possible if not through the political process?

First, we must put away our idols. That means putting away anything in our lives that is more important than God. God wants to be first in your life but His position may be displaced by a job, a spouse, your children, a hobby, money or other interests.
Genesis 35:2 / Joshua 24:14-15, 23 / 1 Samuel 7:3 / 2 Kings 23:24

Day 5- Second we must seek God.
Deuteronomy 4:29 / 2 Chronicles 15:12,15 / Isaiah 55:6-7 / Jeremiah 29:13 / Hosea 10:12

Day 6- Third, we must repent of all sin and our independence from God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 / Joel 2:12 / Matthew 3:2 / Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30

Day 7- Fourth, our heart must be clean and right towards God whereby we can live and act with a clear conscience.
Ezekiel 18:31-32 / Psalm 51: 10-12 / Ezekiel 36:25-27 / Hebrews 9:14

Day 8- A true love for God produces a love towards men which in turn reforms the part of society that you are in.
Matthew 22: 37-39 / John 15:12 / 1 Peter 1:22

Day 9- There is no shortcut to reform. Money and the political process can only bring temporary results. They can bring some relief for men, enabling them to think clearly enough to seek God. But without repentance and a return of man's heart to God there can be no lasting change. Every man or woman must start with themselves and let their personal reform ripple out to their family, friends, work place, and town.
Matthew 5: 13-16 / Acts 13:47.



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