“Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And He charged them, saying, ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, ‘Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not?, and having ears, hear ye not?, and do ye not remember?
When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?’ They say unto Him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?’ And they said, ‘Seven.’ And He said unto them, ‘How is it that ye do not understand?’” Mark 8:14-21 (KJB)
Leaven is an ingredient which causes bread to rise giving the appearance of being more than what it is. It is puffed up. It is often used in Scripture as representative of evil and its influence in people, and doctrines of religion and men.
The leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees, the Herodians which the Sadducees were part of and was more political than religious. The Pharisees were always twisting Scripture to fit their own understanding to keep the people in bondage to them, and their understanding of Scripture. They put burdens on others that they would not do themselves.
I realize there is more to understand in the above verses than of leaven, but it was the words of Jesus ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.’ which aroused my attention this morning.
Using Scripture to control others as did the Pharisees, and they tried to control Jesus too but could not; is an evil beyond description. The preacher, the messenger of the word of God is to proclaim the truth of the word of God [Scripture] with clarity, understanding, and love letting the word and the Holy Spirit convict, comfort, encourage, and draw the lost, condemned soul to God.
Having a “Must do” list in order to be saved is leaven to the Scripture. Salvation, sanctification, and glorification is solely the work of God. Let us leave it there.