“Be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees . . . Then at last they understood that He wasn’t speaking about the yeast in the bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Matthew 16:6, 12
One day at work, as I was making bread, this passage came to my mind. My bread dough was in the mixing bowl beating. I stopped the machine to take out the beating hook. As I did so, there was a build up of water on the top of the hook where it meets the machine. The water looked grey, as you would expect when two metals rub together with water. After I had left the bread to prove for an hour and started shaping it into loaves, I realised that some of that nasty looking water had fallen into the bread mix and mixed itself into the dough through the proving process. I was gutted. This water had corrupted the bread and now my loaves had streaks of dirty, metal water running through them.
Interestingly although it was only a small amount of water that had mixed in with the dough, it was enough to make the bread unusable. Jesus uses a similar example when talking about the Pharisees teaching. They wanted to Jesus to show His authority by showing them miraculous signs and wonders at their demand. Unfortunately for them, Jesus was not a trickster or a magician that at the click of their fingers, performed for His audience’s sake.
Jesus warns the disciples not to follow this kind of teaching. Not only did they look for signs to prove Jesus’ authority, they also burdened their own disciples with teaching and works that they could not even follow. This kind of teaching mixed with a dough mix can completely corrupt what was good bread. Don’t allow your dough to be corrupted!