A few days ago, we thought about how Jesus told us that we were the salt of the earth and how we are placed into the world to flavor it with the love of Christ. Today, he is warning the disciples about the influence of the world.
Yeast is what we use to make baked goods rise. In this warning, Jesus lets us know how even our leaders can be used by Satan to make evil rise. The Pharisees were always working to lure people away from Jesus saying that he was leading them away from the Law of Moses. Herod, of course, had other reasons for wanting Jesus to be discredited. After all, he knew that many of the people wanted Jesus to be king. He also knew that he needed to keep Pilate on his side, and Jesus posed an additional threat there.
If we hear a lie often enough we might start to believe it. We know that this happened during the Holocaust to make people believe that the Jews were the enemies. Today it happens in more subtle ways, but it still happens. We hear all the time about the “other” that we need to fear. When I was teaching, there was a beauty supply store around the corner from both the high school where I taught and two others as well. This store posted a sign saying that there could be no more than one teenager in the store at any time. What did this say to the customers? Obviously, they were saying that teenagers were all thieves, and they could only watch one at a time! I must admit that I refused to shop there because of their attitude.
We need to think about how our attitudes are influenced. Do we listen when we are told whom to hate or fear? Do we believe the yeast of the world, or the voice of Jesus?
Loving God, may we always listen to you and follow your guidance and avoid the yeast of hate and fear that the world would like us to believe. May we also be a voice that speaks against untruths that would lead others away from you. Amen.