The Bad and Good of Leaven
Sermon shared by Howard Strickland
Summary: I think Jesus is saying here that I can take care of divine multiplication, and I can handle a miracle! However, I can’t help those who take in and receive the leaven of this world!
Denomination: Church of God
Audience: General adults
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The Bad and Good of Leaven Text: Matthew 16:5-12
5 Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.” 8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? 9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
I think Jesus is saying here that I can take care of divine multiplication, and I can handle a miracle! However, I can’t help those who take in and receive the leaven of this world! Live like the world, talk like the world and act like the world! Read “Why people leave the Church.”
As we take these verses in context it’s important to go back and look at the beginning of this chapter. The Pharisees and Sadducees were testing Jesus; they said they wanted to see a sign, and then they would believe.
Jesus say’s in vs. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.
I really believe that it’s important that we understood what Jesus was saying here. He’s saying, “Just as Jonah was in the fishes belly for 3 days, so will the Son of Man be in the earth!”
What happened unto Jonah on the third day? He came out! If we can live, breathe and move as if we know Jesus has come out just as Jonah did, it will change our lives and others around us!
Jesus said in vs. 6 beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees! The word leaven comes from the word yeast.
What does yeast do to flour? It makes it rise! What does sin do unto our lives? It makes our flesh rise!
Who will win the battle? The flesh or Jesus!
One man asks another man which dog would win if his two dogs fought. The man with the dogs said, “I guess the one that I feed and cater to the most!”
The only time Jesus speaks favorably of leaven (or yeast) is when He speaks about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus expects His kingdom to rise within us! Matthew 13:33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” Luke 13:20-21 And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Jesus wants leaven to become our friend; He wants leaven to explode in your life as a believer, so He will be glorified; therefore, His kingdom will grow! Jesus expects believers to rise to the top; to kill the flesh, and remove sin issues!
I think it’s fair to say that if God’s kingdom isn’t growing within us, then the word (type) leaven or yeast will have a negative effect in us!
Paul writes in Gal. 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole
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