Lessons Of A Lifetime

Remember – Little Is Much
Beware Of Evil Influences
Sunday Oct. 11, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Now when Jesus’ disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have taken no bread.’

“But Jesus being aware of it, said to them, ‘O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread; but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’                                                                                    Matthew 16.5-12

Something To Consider:
This warning of Jesus is as applicable and relevant to us today as it was two thousand years ago. “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Leaven in the bible is most always spoken of as having an evil influence and is spiritually symbolic of sin.

Therefore, Jesus was warning His disciples and every leader in training to take heed and to beware not to personally involve themselves in the evil influences of the still all too prevalent modern-day mentality of Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus warns us today of the evil influences of man-made legalistic religion.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14.12, “There is a way that seems right unto a man [woman and or young person], but the end of that way is the way of death [spiritual death].” The legalistic man-made doctrines then and now, have led and will continue to lead millions of unsuspecting individuals into the way of spiritual death. How sad!

Something Else To Consider:
In other words, beware of evil influences even when proclaimed by many religious appearing leaders! Remember the many and the few warning declared by Jesus in Matthew 7.13-14. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

The Pharisees were a religious group who grew in numbers, popularity, and in influence to the point of infiltrating into the majority of members in the Sanhedrin, a political ruling party during the time of Jesus. Why should we think it to be any different during the end times and the approaching of Jesus’ second coming? Therefore, there is much hatred, bitterness, and difference of opinions between the political parties of America, and the distance between opinions is increasing, as is the disdain for anything Christian as well.

The Pharisees held fast and foremost to the oral traditions of the elders over the written Word of God. The whole of their existence was based heavily on their outward appearances and the keeping of the oral traditions. They in turn gave little to no attention to things pertaining to the issues of the heart. This was the essence and fueling factor between the continual clash between Jesus’ preaching and teaching as well as the outward observances or lack thereof of the elder’s traditions.

The Sadducees on the other hand were a religious sect who denied that the oral law was a true revelation from God. The Sadducees also denied the truth of the resurrection from the dead and the existence of angels and spirits. Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees would very much fit in well with todays’ religious denominations of this 21st century.

As Jesus gave His disciples a refresher lesson entitled, “Remember – Little Is Much”, His disciples then understood that He was not warning them about the leaven of bread, but in Jesus’ own words, “But beware of the leaven [evil influences of the doctrine] of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Jesus did not condone or approve of the false teaching of His day, but rather, He attempted to expose it for what it was. We have been warned!

And so, the question to those following Jesus today is, are we heeding His warnings? Are we being aware of the evil influences of false teachers and false religious leaders? Are we listening to and following a doctrine, a teaching, or an organizational ordinance that leads to the way of death? Is what we are allowing into our lives, hearts, and minds, that which leads to destruction of which many go in? Or are we entering the way revealed by Jesus which leads to life that few find? The end is fast approaching and our decision is for eternity!

Something More To Consider:
The apostle Paul writing in Romans 12.2, explained the remedy for evil influences as he instructs us all in the Word of righteousness. “And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” And while not being conformed to this world but being transformed by the renewing of our minds by the Word of God, let us remember that little is much when given to God! Therefore, have we given our minds to God?

The disciples were mistaken thinking Jesus was speaking of the leaven of bread in our Scripture to consider today. Therefore, Jesus gave them a short version of a remember – little is much lesson. And Jesus is still attempting to teach us that same eternal lesson of a lifetime He declared to His early disciples. “O you [O me] of little faith. Beware of the leaven [evil influences] of the Pharisees and the Sadducees [religious pretending leaders of every generation including this 21st century generation].”

A Few Final Words:
The Pharisees and Sadducees taught that which was in opposition to the written Word of God! And that is why Jesus warned His disciples. It is why Jesus is still warning His 21st century disciples every time we read or hear these words; “Beware of the doctrine [false, evil, and incorrect doctrine] of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

In other words, beware of the evil influences of religious leaders in every generation when their words do not agree with the words and teachings of Jesus Christ and the whole of Scripture. Religious legalism is a hindrance to true spiritual leadership. Therefore, as leaders in training we must learn the difference between the evil influential leaven of false doctrine and the written Word of God.

According to Jesus, remember that little is much when given to God. And beware of evil influences that contradict the Word of God!

Our Father in heaven, thank You for the reminder that little is much, and for us to beware of the evil influence of false doctrines disguised as religion. In Him Always, Amen!

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