And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15
“Watch out; beware of the leaven of the PHARISEES…” Jesus says. Hypocrisy, pride, love of honor and social status. Ruling with heavy legalistic burdens no one can adhere to. Missing the Messiah among religious activity.
“…and the leaven of HEROD,” Jesus continues. Herod, the political leader, representing an utter lack of belief; no religious conviction; ruling with a heavy hand and violence. Rejecting the One true King of kings.
Jesus uses leaven as a picture of what sin can look like and the damage it can inflict. Leaven is a yeast-like substance added to the dough to make it ferment and rise. Only a small amount is needed for a big impact.
Beware of the metaphorical leaven, Jesus warns. It can come from many roots. The Pharisees, though religious on the outside, were at as much risk as Herod and the non-religious people who had disdain for any religion. Like leaven, a little sin goes an exponentially long way. Just a small amount let in unhindered can change the entire composition. Slowly, but wholly.
We all have it. Those things that we let in. They seem insignificant and harmless, but they have the ability to grow and spread and change us, without us knowing or even seeing it happen.
A small mustard seed size faith in God can move mountains. Likewise, a small leaven of sin can corrupt our entire being.
Questions: What seemingly small, but unhealthy, things do you let impact your life? What seemingly small sin areas might easily grow out of hand if not addressed?