Matthw – Fulfilled.
We perform an experiment at the science academy where I teach called “elephant toothpaste”. We mix a small amount of yeast in warm water and set it aside. In a larger Erlenmeyer flask, we put 150ml of hydrogen perioxide with a few drops of liquid dish soap. When the yeast is poured into the H2O2, a “war of chemicals occur”, as we say to the students.
The yeast acts as a catalyst to cause a breaking apart of the molecules, reducing it to merely H2O as the oxygen (O2) escapes in the “war” from the top of the flask. It’s quite an explosion that causes the students to respond with, “Wow, can I touch it?” In this exothermic, chemical reaction, heat is released to double the tempature of the mixture before adding the yeast. Oxygen is literally taken away. Mm.
So, why the science lesson today? Because Jesus used yeast as an example to his “runt believers” who are still growing in the work that God sent Him to do. His guys thought He was talking about the bread they forgot to pack for the next journey, but Jesus was talking beyond the physical to the spiritual reaction that can occur when the yeast of the Pharesee-Sadducee doctrine is added to lives. This yeast was deadly, sinful and causes spiritual wars that break apart relationships with God and with others.
This yeast was a judgemental, self produced power causing self righteous attitudes, thinking they were God, forgetting the One and Only God by laying Him aside. God was out of the equation altogether. This “yeast” of bad doctrine can work it’s way into our lives to bring on a war of confusion, breaking our relationship with God and others, taking away our life-sustaining spiritual breath of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 16, The Message
Some Bad Yeast
16 1-4 Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather—why can’t you read the signs of the times? An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” Then he turned on his heel and walked away.
5-6 On their way to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring along bread. In the meantime, Jesus said to them, “Keep a sharp eye out for Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.”
7-12 Thinking he was scolding them for forgetting bread, they discussed in whispers what to do. Jesus knew what they were doing and said, “Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! Haven’t you caught on yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you collected? Haven’t you realized yet that bread isn’t the problem? The problem is yeast, Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.” Then they got it: that he wasn’t concerned about eating, but teaching—the Pharisee-Sadducee kind of teaching.
What do we learn?
We are not to follow mere men and women, with man-made traditions, we follow God by saying yes to His Son, Jesus Christ who paid the debt of our sin forever. We allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, taking over all the dark places in our hearts, minds and souls to help us grow in love. With His power living in us, we then have the courage to walk humbly, extending mercy for others as it was kindly given to us. We move freely in the rhythm of God’s grace because we are redeemed! No more wars of confusion! Only peace, no matter what the circumstances are around us.
Dear Heavenly Father, Keep us alert to the yeast of bad doctrine not of You, but of man seeking to be above You. Evil is the author of confusion and strife, but You bring order to chaos. You are our peace in the eye of the storm. You are God and we are not. Help us. Save us. Grow us. Help us live it boldly.
In Jesus Name, Amen