MATTHEW 16:6-12
LUKE 12:1


"Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees,
which is hypocrisy."



Jesus said: "take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matt 16:6). To "take heed" is to take notice by visible observation which in this context is "to see." To "beware" is "to pay attention to," "be cautious about." Of what? The leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees! Disgust was present when Christ spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. In the New Testament, leaven was used by Christ to refer to the externalism of the Pharisees and to the unbelief of the Sadducees.

In Luke 12:1, Jesus said, "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Hypocrisy is "to give an impression of having certain purposes or motivations, while in reality having quite different ones. They pretend or to act hypocritically in pretense." Hypocrites are strictly actors, or stage players. In the New Testament, they are figuratively the moral or religious counterfeit or dissembler.

The Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples who were in much danger of hypocrites. They stood on guard against those who were openly vicious, but they commonly lie unguarded against Pharisees who were great pretenders to devotion, and Sadducees who pretended to promote a free and impartial search after truth. Therefore the caution is to "take heed and beware." Their corrupt principles and practices are compared to leaven which is souring, swelling, and spreading. They displayed a great show of piety and holiness but had no spiritual life. They had a lot of knowledge in doctrine and manners but are without the truth. They had men’s respect and reputation but were not regenerate. Be not a hypocrite! Be truthful and honest! Be not an actor! Be meek and pure! Be not pretentious! Be wise and kind-hearted!

THOUGHT: Am I a hypocrite?
PRAYER: "Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression" (Ps 19:12-13).