Summary: Caution against listening to the world’s ideas about Jesus.
Listening to the Wrong Teachers
January 21, 2007
I’ve mentioned in the past that I didn’t grow up in a Bible-believing home.
We didn’t read the Bible, never had a Bible study, and didn’t have Sunday School.
My main exposure to the Bible growing up came during the summers when I was in elementary school.
We lived in Pine Ridge, SD, and we’d go to Vacation Bible School at a little church across the Nebraska border in White Clay.
I still remember getting pumped about making crafts and about lunch, because my brother and sister and I brought our lunch in one of those cool black lunch boxes with the Thermos in the lid.
Those were the days…
The bottom-line is that growing up I had an incomplete and inadequate idea of who Jesus was and my need for Him.
That continued all the way through high school, and into college, when I finally found Jesus for real.
So what made the difference? What was it that caused me to finally recognize who Jesus really was so I could respond to His offer of forgiveness and a home in heaven?
Folks, it was when I quit listening to the wrong people and started listening to the right people, and started reading the Bible for myself.
All my life I had been listening to people who had unbiblical ideas of Jesus. I grew up thinking that sure, Jesus died for my sins and rose again, but that that wasn’t good enough.
According to these people I had to jump through a whole bunch of other hoops if I wanted any chance.
Apparently His death and resurrection only counted if I “performed” just right.
I hadn’t heard that nothing I could do could get me to heaven. I hadn’t heard that all I could do was take what Jesus did for me.
Well, I can guarantee that I’m not alone in that, am I?
Many of you grew up in God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving homes. And I hope you thank God for that.
But others here didn’t have that.
Even if we did have that, all of us are constantly exposed to erroneous teachings about Jesus.
And if we’re not careful, these teachings about Jesus can invade us as individuals and even invade the church.
So my goal today is to help us see the danger of this, and also give you some ammo to help fight the spread of the wrong teachings about Jesus in the lives of those we love.
Matthew 16:5-12 (p. 694) –
5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn’t bring any bread."
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Jesus is like, “Hello! I’m not talking about the bread you eat! I can make all of that that we need. Remember the huge picnics we just had? C’mon, guys, get a clue!”
I can just imagine Jesus rolling His eyes at the disciples here.
But you know, I have to admit that I would have been one of the guys wondering what these guys were wondering. The only difference is that I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to actually admit it.
We’ve talked about yeast before. Jesus usually used yeast to discuss sin and how it infects the whole person just like yeast affects the whole loaf of bread.
At least one time Jesus used yeast to demonstrate how the kingdom of God can spread.
But here He’s using it to describe how the error of the religious leaders was affecting the entire nation of Israel, particularly in regard to the Messiah.
They were expecting a Warrior-Messiah who would push the Romans out and restore Israel’s national glory.
They didn’t see the role of the Messiah to bring forgiveness of sins and peace with God through His blood.
Centuries of oppression by foreign powers had served to cause them to put their hope in a national deliverer rather than a spiritual deliverer.