Jesus said, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod." The disciples wondered what he
meant. Immediately they thought he was scolding them for not bringing enough bread for their boat
trip. Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, "Why do you not understand what I meant when
I told you to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod? You hear the truths I speak to you,
yet you don't comprehend what I mean. You see the works that I do, yet you don't understand what
they mean. Why would you think I am concerned about the amount of bread you brought with you
on the trip, when on two different occasions you saw me feed thousands with just a few loaves of
bread? Why do you always relate what I say to the physical, when I have shown you on numerous
occasions that my work is spiritual? It is not the outside of a man that I am concerned with, but the
inside. The outside is an illusion, a temporary obstacle distracting you from knowing the truth about
whom you really are. I know who I am, and I teach accordingly. You do not yet know who you
really are, but you will. When you learn to hear what I say and see what I do with your real identity,
you will truly understand what I mean."
The disciples stood quiet, stunned by Jesus' response. What relationship could people have with
yeast? After a period of silence, Jesus said, "What does yeast do to that which it is mixed into? It
causes it to rise, does it not? It does so by changing the order of whatever it is mixed into. A very
small amount of yeast causes a large change in whatever it is mixed into. Can you not see how this
physical example relates to the work of the Pharisees and Herod? Their 'yeast' is their professing.
They profess that their work is virtuous, when it only seeks to exploit others and rule over them.
Their intentions are not pure. When they speak, their words seem noble, but they have a hidden
agenda. They are power hungry and seek to control those who lend them an ear. Their goal is to
gain advantage in every situation, rather than to seek the good of all. But what is it that causes them
to be such?"
"Does it surprise you that I equate the Pharisees with Herod? All of Israel knows that Herod seeks
power, fame and wealth. But how many believe that the Pharisees do also? Truly I tell you, their
intentions are as corrupt as Herod's. Like yeast, their religious teaching systematically corrupts
everything it is joined with. Yet they claim their intentions are noble and righteous. If that were so,
they would give and not take. Do you really think that the way to the Father can be found in their
Matthew asked, "But Lord, how can all of Israel be told such things? Their lives are saturated with
the teachings of the Pharisees. They are afraid to think otherwise for fear of being excommunicated
from Israel and the inheritance of the patriarchs. To them, citizenship in Israel is more than just
association. It is a covenant relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Excommunication means forfeiting that relationship. It is a hard thing to expect the people of Israel
to deny the religion of the Pharisees."
Jesus replied, "Your response demonstrates exactly what I have been saying. Do you not see how
the example of yeast applies perfectly to their teachings? What is a true child of Israel, and who is it
that makes him such? Abraham heard God's voice and sought to know Him for himself. He did not
seek to know God through another. The Pharisees teach that God can only be known through their
teachings. Speaking virtuous words is quite different from being virtuous. Being a child of Abraham
is a spiritual work, not a physical work. The Pharisees hate those they cannot control, thus they hate
me. If they were truly Abraham's children, they would love me because Abraham saw my day and
rejoiced at it."
"If Abraham were alive today, he would condemn the work of the Pharisees. Abraham heard God's
voice speaking inside him, and went on a journey to understand it better. These Pharisees have no
idea what this kind of leading is. They teach that the way to understand God is to obey an insanely
long list of rules and regulations that govern every action of the body. Abraham saw that it is not the
outside of a man that matters, but the inside. Thus, he embarked on a journey without knowing the
final destination. In arrogance, the Pharisees claim to know the way to the Father. Yet anyone who
seeks to hear His voice for himself is slandered. Do you not see that in slandering those who attempt
to hear the voice of the Father, the Pharisees do not really want to hear what he has to say to them?"
"The patriarchs and prophets, whom the Pharisees claim to love, heard the Father's voice for
themselves. In doing so, their words are considered 'inspired.' So why can't we do exactly as they
did, and hear the Father's will for ourselves without fear of slander or physical harm? Even the
prophets spoke of how it is the Father's will to write His law on the tablet of our hearts. David
understood what this meant, and because he did, even today he is called 'a man after God's own
heart.' And, if you can bear it, the law of God in David's heart once caused him to break the law of
Moses. Why? Not because the law of Moses was evil, but because man was not made for the law,
but the law was made for the man. Had David done what the law said, and not eaten the showbread,
he and his men would have starved. The Pharisees do not understand this truth."
"The Pharisees have led the children of Israel astray. They teach that the outside observances of the
law are more important than listening to the voice of the Father that speaks in the heart. But they
don't understand that the voice of the Father speaks to what is good, and teaches the one who hears
to love truth and do only good. What use does a person like this have for laws, which dictate how he
must act? He needs no such laws, because he is governed not by what he physically observes, but
by what he hears and sees inside. To this man, laws are useless because there are no true laws
against the things he does - for he is a man of truth. To those who do not operate in this manner,
laws are essential to maintaining order. But at what expense are these laws obeyed? Laws that are
written outside of the man are obeyed out of fear. They are obeyed for fear of punishment, exile,
loss of social status, and so on. But the man who follows what he hears in his heart does so because
he loves truth. This man only knows peace and joy."