Summary: It is our tendency to be satisfied with shallow answers to rather complex questions. We pop a pill instead of finding the root cause. But Jesus takes us deeper.
Passage: Matthew 16:5-12
Intro: It is very common for us to be satisfied with shallow answers to deep questions.
1. got a headache, take an aspirin.
2. can’t sleep, take a pill.
3. this is especially true of God’s revelation to us.
4. because it is spiritual in nature, something we struggle with, we tend to take the physical viewpoint because we are more comfortable with it.
5. but learn a powerful principle, so we can recognize and gain victory over this tendency we all have.
6. and that victory will be a deeper faith, life-changing commitment to God and His revealed truth.
I. The Subtle Problem Revealed
1. the when and the where of this discussion is a little questionable.
2. somewhere near the Sea of Galilee, after the discussion with the religious leaders in vv1-4
3. a little glitch, no one remembered to bring bread for this trip.
Il) ladies, this does not surprise you
4. no discussion, just an editorial comment setting the stage in v5
5. Jesus responded to the discussion he had just had with the religious leaders in vv 1-4
6. to the disciples, instruction came out of the blue.
7. powerful warning, “keep your eyes open and be attentive to the encroachment of the yeast of the P’s and S’s”
8. we will discuss what that means a little later, but this short statement revealed a problem in the disciples.
9. v7, put heads together and analyzed his statement.
10. chose the wrong context, concluded he was making a “bread” statement.
11. and what would that statement be? That he was disappointed that they had forgotten it. “It is because…”
12. frankly, in the context, that concern would make no sense.
13. vv8-11, sharp rebuke about what?
14. their failure to connect the dots
15. here they were with Jesus, who had just fed huge crowds with a total of 12 loaves of bread and two fish.
16. the evidence was overwhelming…the disciples didn’t have to worry about bread anymore.
Il) going to play flag football, choosing sides, suppose you have…
PP Kurt Warner
PP Larry Fitzgerald. We can relax!!
17. but they were stuck in a subtle fear, their “faith” was not yet changing their viewpoint .
18. can we judge the disciples for being concerned about bread? Not really
19. but in the presence of Christ?
20. this little scent of fear reveals a deeper issue.
PP oil on the beach
II. The Deep Issue Beneath the Subtle Problem.
1. Jesus refers to this deep issue of our lives in v6
2. calls it “the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”, repeated in v12
3. almost universally, leaven or yeast has a bad connotation in Scripture.
4. described as a spreading polluter.
PP Oil slick in the gulf. Encrusted bird.
5. now it is easy for us to look at this warning, then the Pharisees, and make up a list of the things we should be aware of.
6. hypocrisy, self-righteousness, expansion of the law to include man- made rules, focus on exterior righteousness.
7. But wait! What was revealed in Jesus discussion with the leaders in vv1-4?
8. unbelief. And what did Jesus criticize the disciples for? Unbelief.
9. the sin that underlies all the outward symptoms is rejection of the revelation of God.
10. unbelief turns away from God’s plan and purpose, and makes my own.
Il) every false religion has rejected the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ, and substituted another “truth” in its place.
11. in the case of the Jews, rejection of God’s revelation caused them to create a system of actions that they hoped would produce righteousness.
12. started by rejecting God’s plan to make us righteous,
13. after rejecting God’s revelation that all men are depraved and sinful, it made up new laws that they hoped would overcome the problem.
14. and when God revealed Himself through the miracles of Jesus, they invented a different standard.
15. but the root cause of hypocrisy and external righteousness and racial pride is the rejection of the Word of God, and the replacement of that word with a “truth” of my own.
PP Oil spewing out of the pipe in the Gulf
16. look at Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in v4
17. they reject the revelation of God and seek something else.
PP Hebrews 11:6
18. the root problem, the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, is the rejection of God’s revealed Word and His Promised One, Jesus Christ.
III. Don’t Just Clean Up. Stop the Flow
Il) the Jews have made a game of searching the house for leaven before Passover.
1. when Jesus says to His followers, “be on your guard against this leaven of unbelief”, we need to take Him seriously.