Matthew 16

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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.

– Matthew 16:12

As Jesus cautions His disciples to beware of the leavening doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, I think it begs the question, just what is (or was) their teaching?

Certainly their teaching centered upon religious ritualism and formality over repentance and spiritual transformation. There’s was a teaching that emphasized external displays of righteousness, and the praises of men as a reward, verses an internal holiness that only God could see and honor. The Pharisees and Sadducees lived a form of doctrine that sought earthly authority and political power gains, but such are vain before God. They were self-righteous and proud, but Jesus calls us to a humble dependence upon His righteousness alone.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, it’s potency is alive and well today too.

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

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Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon