THE WRONG COMPANY
When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:5
The message about yeast, from a baker’s perspective, is that a little goes a long way. Just a half teaspoon affects an entire loaf of bread. Spiritual yeast is the same and Jesus wants us to know this by warning us. Yeast is considered a harmful thing in the kingdom so be careful with whom you keep company. Proximity and extended time with the wrong people have great effect on our spiritual lives.
The disciples didn’t get what Jesus was saying. Immediately, they assumed he was talking about physical realities instead of spiritual. He even gave them clues that He was speaking about the Pharisees and Sadducees. Being with them was to be in danger of being infected with the spiritual yeast they spread.
The Pharisees judged everyone by how similar they were to them. They believed they were the only ones who were favored by God. They gave no room for being different. If you were a Gentile, you couldn’t worship God. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Fundamentalist thinking is to endorse your own denomination and believe that you are the only ones who are spiritually sound. To the Protestants, Catholics aren’t believers. To the Catholics, Protestants are out of favor. To the Baptists, Presbyterians are misguided. To the Presbyterians, the Baptist way is distasteful. How dare we categorize according to differences. The defining line should be the major tenets of the Gospel message. Period.
I’m currently in Western Canada teaching Prayer Mapping. Since being here, I’ve been told that denominations are not segmented to the point of being exclusive. They work together because Christianity is a dying minority. They know that without cooperative effort, the Gospel won’t be spread effectively. This is refreshing.
What church are you part of today? Is there exclusivity in their thinking? Do they bad mouth anyone who doesn’t belong to your group? Beware of keeping such company. At every turn, each of us must protect ourselves from spiritual arrogance. We are bent that way by nature and we must starve the beast. To hang around with spiritual elitists is to endanger our hearts with the most sinister kind of spiritual yeast.
Lord, I want Your heart for people. I want to be around others who also have Your heart. Make spiritual arrogance repulsive to me. In Jesus name, Amen