Have you ever baked bread? If you answered yes, you know the importance of yeast. I have a love/hate relationship with yeast. It’s tricky. You get the measurements or the temperature wrong and your bread is going to be a flop. Just a pinch of the stuff has the power to ruin an entire batch.

In Matthew 16:6, Jesus said, “Be careful. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

In Matthew 16:10–12, we read, “‘Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Jesus wasn’t talking about baking here. But what kind of “yeast” was He warning about?

In Luke 12:1, Jesus says, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” First Corinthians 5:6 compares yeast to boasting. First Corinthians 5:8 calls malice and wickedness “old yeast.”

I think we can draw a larger comparison. All of these “yeasts” have one thing in common—they are sin.

That’s the thing about sin. We can’t contain it. It has a way of working itself into every corner of our lives. For those of us who have been Christians for a while, this is a powerful reminder. Sin doesn’t lose its potency. We should never let down our guard around it; instead we should treat it like yeast and recognize its power to spread.

“Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

What “old yeast” do you need to ditch in your life?

About Author


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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