Monday, August 1, 2011: Matthew 16:12 (NKJV)
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.
Background: A boat crossing brought Jesus Christ and the disciples to Magdala. The Pharisees there wanted to entrap Him in His words.
What did the leaven of the Pharisees mean? The Pharisees added customs about the finer points of the Law, which were not from God. Their teachings brought forth traditions that voided what God’s word said.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011: Mark 8:15 (NKJV)
Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
What was the leaven of Herod? Herod, a despotic Jewish ruler who sought after his own glory under Rome, rebuilt the Temple. It was the Scriptures, the Law and the Prophets that spoke from God that was important, not the Temple.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011: Luke 12:1 – 2 (NKJV)
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
What was the hypocritical teaching of the Pharisees? They made minute rules that did not apply to themselves, but burdened the Jews.
Thursday, August 4, 2011: 1 Corinthians 5:6 – 8 (NKJV)
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Background: A persistent fallacy has plagued the gospel: the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross is not enough! This voids the meaning of the Gospel and transfers salvation to human law-keeping, which is unattainable.
What does Christ and Passover have to do with leaven? Christ was the real Passover lamb that was sacrificed for each household to prevent the death of the firstborn. We cannot earn our way to heaven by good works.
Friday, August 5, 2011: Galatians 5:7 – 10 (NKJV)
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
Background: False teachers were spreading a gospel of works among the Galatians: sure, Christ died for your sins, but you must also be circumcised according to the law.
What does Paul mean when he says he has confidence in the Galatians? Paul feels that the warning given in his epistle is sufficient to ‘purge’ the false teaching.