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Posts tagged ‘Matthew 13:33’

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:5-12 – Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

|| Mark 8:14-21; Luke 12:1

MT16:5 Now the disciples arrived on the other side of the lake and they forgot to bring loaves of bread with them. MT16:6 So, Jesus told them, “Watch and pay attention regarding the leaven[1] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” MT16:7 The disciples now carried on a dialogue among themselves, “We brought no loaves of bread.” MT16:8 Realizing what they were talking about, Jesus said to them, “Men of very small faith,[2] why are you having this dialogue just because you did not bring loaves of bread? MT16:9 Do you not perceive[3] or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many surplus baskets you gathered? MT16:10 Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many surplus baskets you gathered? MT16:11 Why do you not realize that I was not speaking about loaves of bread? Rather, be alert regarding[4] the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” MT16:12 Then the disciples finally got the point that Jesus was not talking about the leaven of loaves but rather the teaching of[5] the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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[1] Leaven: Compare Mark 8:15 where Jesus includes the party followers of Herod; and, Luke 12:1 where “hypocrisy” is included. See notes on Matthew 13:33.

[2] Men of very small faith: See notes on Matthew 8:26.

[3] Do you not perceive: One gets the feeling that the miracle of feeding the crowds was more of an object lesson for the apostles.

[4] Be alert regarding: Jesus believed in Biblical Truth and made no effort to compromise his teachings with others. He wanted his disciples to pay close attention to what others taught and view as ‘leaven’ (or corrupt doctrines) those teachings or manners which did not line up with his own teachings.

[5] The teaching of: Jesus has mentioned three groups in this context. Regarding the Pharisees (self-righteous conservatives) Josephus records: “And so great is (the Pharisees’) influence with the masses that even when they speak against a king or high priest, they immediately gain credence.” [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 288 (x, 5)] “They believe that souls have power to survive death and that there are rewards and punishments under the earth for those who have led lives of virtue or vice: eternal imprisonment is the lot of evil souls, while the good souls receive an easy passage to a new life.” (Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 14 [i, 3]) “Every soul, they maintain, is imperishable, but the soul of the good alone passes into another body, while the souls of the wicked suffer eternal punishment.… [The Pharisees] attribute everything to Fate and to God; they hold that to act rightly or otherwise rests, indeed, for the most part with men, but that in each action Fate co-operates.” [The Jewish War, II, 162, 163 (viii, 14)]

            Sadducees (liberal free-thinkers) ‘denied the workings of fate, maintaining that an individual, by his own actions, was solely responsible for what befell him.’ [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 172, 173 (v, 9)] They ‘rejected the many oral traditions observed by the Pharisees and also Pharisaic belief in the immortality of the soul and in punishments or rewards after death. In their dealings with one another, the Sadducees were somewhat rough. They were said to be disputatious. According to Josephus, their teachings appealed to the wealthy.’ [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 298 (x, 6); XVIII, 16, 17 (i, 4); The Jewish War, II, 162-166 (viii, 14)]

            Herodians (political) are unknown in secular history but much involved in the politics of Jesus’ homeland. Compare Matthew 12:9-14; Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 20:21-26.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

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Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 13:33 – Parable of the Fermented Whole

|| Luke 13:20, 21

MT13:33 Jesus related to them another parable: “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] leaven,[2]

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[1] May be compared to: There is something about the development of Christ’s Church (the realm of profession) which is like leaven.

[2] Leaven: The Greek is ZUME. Or, TCNT: yeast. What do we know of “leaven” in the Christian Bible? The word occurs 8 times in the Gospels. Leaven is used of the three sects or groups and their doctrine or ideas: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians (Matthew 16:6, 11, 12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1). Note it is “three measures” the woman mixes and perhaps these may be: conservative, liberal, and political. Paul uses leaven as a metaphor for wickedness and badness (1Corinthians 5:6-8; Galatians 5:9). This agrees with Plutarch, the Greek historian, who wrote: “(Leaven) itself also the product of corruption, and produces corruption in the dough with which it is mixed.” (Moralia, IV, “The Roman Questions,” 109) In view of the above it does not seem twisting matters to view this parable as a prediction about the fermentation of the Christian Church. It began in the purity of the Nazarene’s teachings and example and within three centuries was bastardized and mongrelized until it was virtually unrecognizable from the original. Virtually every inspired Christian writer foretells an apostasy or falling away (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 4:3, 4; 2 Peter 2:1ff; 1 John 2:18, 19). Interestingly, nowhere in these parables does Jesus foretell some kind of restoration of “true religion.” There are, of course, a variety of opinions on this parable. Barclay prefers the theme of the transformation of the individual by Christ.

File:Teachings of Jesus 6 of 40. parable of the leaven. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible.gif

Pparable of the leaven – etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 13:30-34 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England

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Preceding

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

False teachers and false prophets still around

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Additional reading

  1. What Jesus did: First things first
  2. Leaven 
  3. Act of Faith held on February 6, 1481 – Religious fanaticism and fundamentalism of all times
  4. Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

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Related
  1. The Jesus god of Christendom
  2. Will God’s people be stumbled by the name of Jehoshua
  3. The Prostitute and Christ

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