“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matt. 16:6)

WHILE researching MY FAMILY tree, I discovered that some of my ancestors were bakers by trade. Certainly my mother possessed superb skills in the kitchen.

As a small child, I would watch while she made bread. She explained that the yeast would cause the dough to puff up, and a few hours later I could see for myself that the raw loaf appeared lighter and softer and it had a different shape. When the loaf was finally baked, it looked wonderful and tasted yummy but bore little resemblance to the original form.

Jesus called the false doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees “yeast,” and for good reason. Over time, the Jewish Law had ballooned to an astounding 613 commandments from the original ten, and God’s truth about the Messiah had been so distorted by the powerful religious leaders that they did not recognize the real Messiah when He finally appeared among them.

Christ’s warning to be careful about false doctrine still applies today. We need to be constantly on guard against the influence of any religious group or teacher who mixes popular secular thinking with biblical truth in order to produce a “lighter” version of Christianity. This version may be attractive and appeal to the comfort-loving side of our human nature, but it has transformed God’s truth into something that is no longer identifiable as the original teachings of Jesus.

Compare your views on current social issues to the teachings of Scripture. Do they agree?

Carol Chase and her husband live in Surrey, British Columbia. She is a retired administrative supervisor, enjoys gardening, and loves to pray for others.