THE YEAST OF THE PHARISEES AND HEROD
As the religious leaders asked Jesus for signs (miracles) that they might believe in Him, He didn't give them any signs because Jesus knew their hearts. They weren't looking for signs, but they were looking for opportunities to accuse Jesus more. So Jesus and His disciples went to Dalmanutha, which was on the east side of the sea of Galilee, and as they were traveling there, Jesus told them, "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod" (Mark 8:5). The disciples thought that Jesus was talking about the bread, for they had forgotten to bring bread. However, Jesus was not talking about bread but about the influence of the Pharisees and Herod. Just as the yeast affected the dough to turn into bread, the yeast referred to the Pharisees and Herod in affecting or influencing the Jews with their unbiblical teaching and sinful way of life.
The Pharisees influenced the Jews to follow the traditions of men instead of the Word of God, and Herod influenced the Jews with his immoral and corrupt lifestyle. As believers, we are surrounded by all kinds of bad influences. If we are not careful in knowing the Word of God, we can easily be influenced by the wrong teaching of the false teachers and the sinful lifestyle of this world. Knowing the Word of God (the Bible) is our best defense against the bad influence of this world. As believers of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live according to the Word of God and not according to the traditions or ways of this world. So if we face a decision to take a side in any political views, such as abortion, homosexuality, and social injustice, we need to follow God's Word and not the humanistic thinking of this world.
Someday, we will stand before our Heavenly Father and give an account of how we live our lives in this world. And He will judge us according to how we live according to His Word. Our Lord Jesus is encouraging us today to watch out against the wrong teaching of false teachers and the ungodly lifestyle of this world.
Ask yourself these questions: What is my best defense against the false teaching of the false teachers and the corrupt lifestyle of this world? Why is it important for me to live according to the Word of God?
Write down all the worries you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for your Word. Your Word is the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path. Please help me live according to Your Word, no matter how this world judges or treats me, because someday, every knee will bow down before you, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Please help me not to compromise my faith and help me to stay true to Your Word. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.