5 The talmidim (disciples/students), in crossing to the other side of the lake, had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 So when Yeshua said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourselves against the hametz (leaven) of the P’rushim (Pharisees) and Tz’dukim (Sadducees),” 7 they thought he said it because they hadn’t brought bread. 8 But Yeshua, aware of this, said, “Such little trust you have! Why are you talking with each other about not having bread? 9 Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you filled? 10 Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many baskets you filled? 11 How can you possibly think I was talking to you about bread? Guard yourselves from the hametz of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim!” 12 Then they understood — they were to guard themselves not from yeast for bread but from the teaching of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim.
The disciples were confused. Why would Jesus tell them to be concerned about the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees? They understood this to be literal and that they should guard themselves against the bread of the religious leaders.
Hametz is the leavening agent that makes bread rise. It is the agent the Jewish people are not allowed to eat during Passover as a reminder that when they left Egypt the bread had no time to rise and they ate flat bread.
Hametz has become a term used spiritually as well. This article explains the thoughts well. I encourage you to click the link for a deeper understanding.
Hametz is a benefit when it is used properly and wisely. The bread rises, it puffs up and it brings a delicious aspect to a meal. It can, however, cause the bread to ferment and spoil if it is not watched and observed.
Jesus knew that the hearts of the religious leaders of the day were not focused on Adonai. They were puffed up and self-centered. Their teachings were not bringing Adonai praise and honor. The Pharisees and Sadducees were caught in the "puffed up selfishness" that was not pleasing to God.
This paragraph from the article above explains it well:
"The rabbis suggest that the leaven transcends the physical world. This leaven, this hametz, also symbolizes a puffiness of self, an inflated personality, an egocentricity that threatens to eclipse the essential personality of the individual. Ironically, it is what prevents the individual from rising spiritually and moving closer to holiness. Thus, what hametz effectively does in the material world is exactly what it precludes in the realm of the spirit. That’s why it has to be removed."
The line, "Ironically, it is what prevents the individual from rising spiritually and moving closer to holiness" is what struck me. Once again, something out of balance causes a negative reaction.
Jesus knew the disciples must understand the spiritual implications of false teachings. He used this lesson in the physical to show them the spiritual. He does the same for us today...
How do past hurts affect us? How do wrong teachings bring misunderstandings to our soul? How does the baggage of the past bring false understandings to us?
We must stay grounded in His Word. We must read it and ask Holy Spirit for new understandings and have Him waken our inner soul. I'm not saying let the teachings from the past teachers go by the wayside... No, there is a place for everything, but we must run it through the scope of His Truth and make sure that we are not being led astray. We must also watch the teachings of the "new" leaders as well. Not everyone is grounded in His understandings and thoughts.
Find a balance. Find a way to LISTEN to Him each day. Ask Him for clarity. Let His teachings bring wisdom and balance to your life.
Love and blessings,
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