I learn something new each week, when Rudy Ross and I talk about the Bible.
For example, I didn’t know that leaven was prohibited from being placed on the altar as an offering to God.
Leaven or yeast was equated with wisdom, and human wisdom could not be offered to God.
Rudy has a great explanation of this on today’s YouTube video. Unfortunately, I made a mistake with the recording and we have a picture with no sound.
Rudy and I will produce more videos on Monday and you can view new ones on Tuesday, December 14th.
With the idea that leaven or yeast involved wisdom, let’s see what Jesus said to his followers about the subject of the leaven/yeast of the Pharisees.
— Luke 12.1 – Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples,
“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy.”
Let’s not miss the fact that the crowd has grown from the first mention of the them in Luke 11.14 and now in chapter 12 it is very large.
With the crowd listening in, Jesus told his followers to be cautious about the leaven/yeast or wisdom of the Pharisees.
It turns out that what appeared to be wisdom was actually hypocrisy.
How can that be?
In the case of the Pharisees, they appeared on the surface to uphold the values of God.
At the same time, they hotly opposed the agenda of the One whom God had sent to the world (Luke 11.53-54).
In the early 1970’s a group of civil rights advocates attempted to attend a prominent Baptist church that had previously refused admittance of African Americans to their services.
The group was met at the door by the church’s deacons and turned away.
The qualification for deacon is enumerated in the Book of Acts, “Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task” (Acts 6.3).
No where does the Bible state that deacons are called to refuse ministry to people of a different race.
People would have done well to beware of the leaven/yeast or wisdom of these old South deacons. Hypocrisy was at the root of their wisdom.
They may have taught about God’s love in Sunday School, but their actions revealed anything but God’s standard of love.
Praise God, the church in question has repented of their earlier racial stance and now has an open door to all races.
The issues may change, but the potential for hypocrisy has not.
— We have to beware of the “wisdom” of clergy who preach one thing and live another.
— We need to be cautious when listening to teachers who promote division and hatred alongside of their Christian message.
— So-called “Christian” businesses need to be scrutinized. They may be the genuine article, but some use “Christian” as a way to scam unsuspecting persons.
More than anything, we need to determine to present a Christian message that is aligned with Jesus, living by both his actions and attitudes.
Jesus said that the leaven/yeast and wisdom/hypocrisy of the religious authorities of his day would be exposed.
— Luke 12.2-3 – “Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.
“Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.”
“Hypocrite” is a word that refers to the mask that is worn in a play. In effect, a hypocrite is a “play actor.”
A Christian may hide behind a mask for a period of time, but eventually the real person will be revealed.
The Great English preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “Many a great Sunday sermon has been ruined when the preacher came to lunch following the service.”
The pastor with whom I served Louisiana was one of the most prominent Christian leaders in Louisiana. As a result, we had many well known Christian personalities speak or sing at our church.
One of them, Dr. Findley Edge, was possibly one of the most gracious Christian men I have ever met.
I was having breakfast before church on a Sunday morning, when he came into the restaurant. He said hi to me and took a seat at our table.
I had only met him on one occasion prior to this and was surprised he recognized me.
He had just completed a new book and a speaking tour of Europe. He didn’t talk about himself at all, but made my friend at breakfast feel like the king of the world.
I will never forget that breakfast, because of the Jesus-kind-of-life that was evident through Dr. Edge.
On the other hand, one of the most dynamic young preachers in the nation spoke at our town’s football stadium. He and his music team were entertaining and powerful.
Lunch with the team was the complete opposite of the one with Findley Edge. They were fully absorbed with themselves and gave the appearance that no one else mattered.
It won’t surprise you to know that the young preacher is no longer in the ministry.
Jesus’ words are true.
What is most to be gained from Jesus’ caution in these verses is that we determine to not be like the Pharisees, old South deacons, or troubled preachers.
The best life possible is the one that strives to be like Jesus in ever way. Let’s pursue a Jesus-kind-of-life with all our might.
I made an error in producing the daily YouTube video with Rudy Ross. We had a picture, but no sound.
Rudy and I will work on more videos on Monday and we will have a new set of videos on Tuesday, December 14.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.