Jesus Warned His Disciples against Leaven (Matthew 16:5-12)
1. On this occasion Jesus warned His disciples against "the leaven" of 2 groups of Jewish religious people: the Pharisees and the Sadducees. 2. The disciples did not understand the Lord's warning at first -- they thought He was talking about bread. 3. Finally, the disciples understood that Jesus was warning them against the "doctrine [teaching]" of these people. 4. The main point to learn is: "rather than listen to the doctrines of men, we must listen to the Lord's teaching in His Word." 5. In our lesson we are examining: a. samples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees b. additional warnings given in the Bible. Discussion: I. SAMPLES OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES
A. Jesus exposed the leaven of the Pharisees in Matthew 15:1-9. 1. He clearly pointed out their hypocrisy. 2. However, this situation provided an opportunity for Jesus to teach others an important lesson about "defilement." B. Jesus exposed the leaven of the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-33. 1. Jesus clearly pointed out their errors. 2. This situation provided an opportunity for Jesus to present evidence that the resurrection will occur. C. These samples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees help us understand why Jesus gave His strong warning to the disciples. II. ADDITIONAL WARNINGS AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS
A. (Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24) Jesus warned against false teachers because they "deceive." B. (1 Corinthians 15:33) We are warned about the effects of evil influence (vs.12). C. (Galatians 1:6-9) We know what will happen to those who pervert God's Word, but what will happen to those who listen to them? D. (Ephesians 5:6-7) To avoid the punishment given to false teachers, we must not listen to them. E. (Colossians 2:4, 8) We must not allow false teachers to spoil us, even though they may be very talented speakers. F. (2 Timothy 2:16-18) The teaching of these men had the effect of a cancer. G. (2 Peter 2:1-3) Peter pointed out the widespread influence of false teachers [many will follow them]. H. (1 John 4:1; 2 John 9-11) John, "the apostle of love," issued strong warnings against believing false teachers as well as supporting them. Conclusion:
1. During His ministry Jesus issued strong warnings against the leaven of false teachers. 2. The apostles also gave strong warnings against false teachers in their letters. 3. Let us heed these warnings and always follow the truth.