In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus warns the disciples about  the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. He is basically warning them about being influenced by the thinking of the world (live for pleasure and power) or the thinking of the old-style religion (try harder and God might eventually accept you). These two ideas are still at work within the church, and we are foolish  to believe that we are not influenced by them.

It is worth noting how frustrated Jesus was when the Disciples failed to understand what he was talking about. “Do you not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and fail to see? Do you have ears and fail to hear?…Do you not yet understand? (Mk 8:17-18, 21). If Jesus was to walk into our church this Sunday and see how we think, would he be still rebuking us in the same way? After two thousand years, is our understanding of Christianity any different to the Pharisees? Or in our reaction to the thinking of the Pharisees, have we moved into the thinking of Herod? Are we able to avoid the yeast of corruption and discover the pure message of grace and freedom that Jesus offers us?