12 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
Here we find Jesus warning His disciples about the “yeast of the Pharisees”, referring to their hypocrisy. This follows a long list of ‘woes’ which he dishes out to the Pharisees and experts in the Law in Chapter 11.
Hypocrisy means a lack of integrity – professing one thing but doing the opposite. But Jesus isn’t just talking about actions here – He’s addressing the state of their hearts. While they seem morally righteous on the outside, on the inside they are empty and hard-hearted. The word ‘yeast’ is telling here; just a small amount of this kind of attitude can have a widespread influence.
It’s all too easy to be a hypocrite and I think it comes about when we disregard grace. Just like yeast, it takes one small moment of forgetting about God’s grace, one small instance of ignoring His grace, a split second of scorning His grace – and suddenly we become desperate to find a way to measure up. The problem is, we can never measure up – at least not on our own.
Thank You Jesus for measuring up on behalf of all of us. Thank You for living the perfect life that we could never hope to live, so that we have hope to live in perfect union with You forever. Amen.
Written by Ps. Matt Samperi