Sermon of the Week, 9/23/12
- SERMON OF THE WEEK
September 23, 2012
Next Sunday is the 2nd Sunday after Sleebo. The gospel reading for Sunday is from St.�Mathew 16:5-12.
"Beware of the leaven�of the Phrisees and Saducees."
Key Passage: Jesus told his followers: "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Saducees.) - St. Mathew 16:6)
Message: There is an important command of Jesus Christ found in today's gospel in verse 6. Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The command is again repeated in verse 11 where it reads, "How is it you don't understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? - but beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Let's consider this command by asking and answering a series of questions:
First, "What is leaven?" Leaven (or yeast - പുളിപ്പ് ) is a powerful fungus that can cause a hump of dough to rise into bread, ferment liquids into alcohol , or cause painful infections. It causes fermentation and make bread rise before baking. For people living in the New Testament age, the way to reproduce yeast was to save a small piece of the unbaked dough, which would later be used to start fermentation in the next batch of bread.
Second, "What does the Bible say about Leaven?" Like a small piece of yeast is able to cause a relatively large amount of dough to rise, the term here is used figuratively to represent bad influence.
Third, "What is the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?" It is against the doctrine of the Pharisess and Sadducees that Jesus warns his disciples. He calls their teaching "yeast" because of the potential of affecting not only their own lives but everyone that they come in contact with.
The doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees contained a mixture of God's truth and man's traditions. The danger of the yeast is that when spread, it will quickly affect the thought process of individuals that could corrupt their hearts and minds away from the true meaning of God's words and commandments. The very nature of leaven is that even a small portion of it will permeate an entire batch. This is the warning that Jesus gives and uses leaven (yeast) as a symbol of sin.
prepared by Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil