The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

03/31/2009

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The Cease And Desist Order


"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matt. 6:16).

Do we remember the final instructions of our parents when we left the house? "Be careful"...."Don't drive too fast"...."Watch out crossing the street"..."Don't talk to strangers".... More than likely they came just one at a time. For even more emphasis, there might be a double instruction. Jesus must have really meant what he was saying here because he laid a "double whammy" his disciples. "Be careful" AND "Be on your guard!"

What was so important that Jesus gave a double emphasis. It was about the "yeast" of the Pharisees and Sadducees." The term yeast is obviously being used in a figurative sense here. The yeast being spoken of here referred to their influence. Just as Paul used it in 1 Cor. 5:6; "Don't you know that a little yeast works itself through the whole batch of dough?" So...... What's this "yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees" that is so dangerous, that a double warning is given? In Luke 18: 9-14, we are told about their self-righteousness. Self-righteousness must not be a trait that Jesus wanted in His disciples. In Matthew 6:2,5 Jesus tells us about their desire to be praised by men in their giving and praying. He must not like that "needs the praise of men" stuff.

In Matthew 15:1-6 the yeast is their "traditionalism." You know..... Just going through the motions without any heart....These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (v8)...."You give the tenth of your spices----mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the important matters of the law----justice mercy and faithfulness" (Matt. 23: 23). Jesus must have really wanted His words to affect our hearts! The yeast of the Pharisees even influenced some of the rulers to reject Christ. (John 12: 42 & 43). Jesus does not want our words or deeds to influence people in a negative way!

It appears that the yeast is here. It's so influential that Jesus gave a double warning! Maybe on some levels it has gotten to us, and is influencing us perhaps just in some overt or subtle way. Tomorrow we will look into God's Word to find the way to resist its influence. Until then, have a wonderful day...

Go about doing good....love mark Phil. 4:11

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