In my devotional reading today, I came across a familiar passage that made me think about my pride.
5 When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9 Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. ~~Matthew 16:5-12 (ESV)
I realize that most of the disciples were tradesmen, and therefore lacking in formal education. Perhaps that fact accounts for their struggles to understand metaphors. Or maybe I’m uncharitable to think that they should have understood that Jesus used the symbol of leaven to represent pride.
Regardless of the disciples’ inability to comprehend what the Lord meant, we have no excuse for failing to get it. We know very well that He warned them against the inflated false teaching that came from these two groups.
The Pharisees distorted God’s Word by adding to it, while the Sadducees twisted it by accepting only the five books of Moses. Both factions elevated their human ideas above the authority of Scripture. Jesus wanted His disciples to avoid handling God’s Word with that sort of arrogance.
As a Christian blogger, I also must make sure to handle the Bible correctly, neither adding my own ideas to it nor ignoring the parts that don’t support my theology. My pride would tempt me to manipulate Scripture to my personal advantage, but I must beware of doing so. I fully understand the danger of such leaven.