Listen to today’s devo!

“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” (Mark 8:15)

Yeast is perhaps one of the most insightful metaphors that Jesus employed. In bread making, yeast is the one of the smallest ingredients yet has a powerful effect on the whole dough. Educational research has discovered that the inclusion of even one troubled student into a classroom of twenty-five can disrupt the entire class and bring their average scores down. One might think that including a troubled student into a classroom of successful students would cause the troubled student to rise to the occasion but that rarely happens.

Note that Jesus stressed two different types of yeast here: the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. The yeast of the Pharisees can be understood as self-righteousness. They held their strict adherence to the Law as proof of their own goodness. The yeast of Herod is the yeast of power. Herod lorded his position over the Jewish people. Jesus knew that even the tiniest amount of self-righteousness or the love of power would infect the entire lives and ministry of his disciples.

What yeast do you need to be mindful of today? Are you susceptible to self-righteousness or the love of power? The smallest amount of either could be infecting your entire life, even without your knowledge. Ask others to help you identify even a trace of either.

Beware the smallest trace of self-righteousness or love of power.

Mark A. Moore is an associate professor of theology at William Jessup University and the spiritual formation pastor at Faith Legacy [Wesleyan] Church in Sacramento.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.