THE LEAVEN OF THE KINGDOM VS.
THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES – Ray E Horton
The Kingdom of heaven within us is like leaven, expanding our lives beyond the natural to the fullness of the abundance of eternal life. “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‘” (Matt.13:33).
There is another kind of leaven that Jesus warns about in Matt. 16. Verse 6 reads: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.'”
Kingdom Vs. Legalistic Religion
Let us let our leaven be the Kingdom within, His grace empowerment, rather than the hypocrisy of trying and pretending to live by our own good works
What is that leaven? Verse 12 tells us: “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.” What was that doctrine? Jesus’ answer is read in Luke 12:1, “… ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.‘” The hypocrisy of keeping the law. It can’t be done in the flesh, yet they self-righteously acted holy while putting burdens on others to do what they couldn’t. Isn’t a lot of legalistic religion like that?
Jesus described their hypocrisy in Matt 23 with a series if examples, starting with vs. 13: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in,” then, in 27: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Jesus further explains in Mark 7:6, “He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.'”
Let us let our leaven be the Kingdom within, His grace empowerment, rather than the hypocrisy of trying and pretending to live by our own good works and expecting others to do the same.