(Continued from 6 & 7 July 2016)
The third leaven Jesus mentions, is, “Beware of the leaven of the Herodians.” The Herodians were not so much a strictly religious sect as they were a political-religious sect supporting the Herod Dynasty. They also worked and were relational with the Pharisees. They could see that the teaching of Jesus, with its pure and spiritual perception of the kingdom of God, was a threat to their own “nationalism” and that Christ’s influence with the people was not in their interest. They readily joined with the Pharisees to crush, trap and destroy Jesus. Jesus warned His disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Herodians.” This warning is clear: Beware of thinking you can bring the kingdom of God by political process. The kingdom of God is spiritual, not political. Jesus is not a Republican. He is not on the “right” except at the right hand of God. He is not a Democrat or Independent or Tea Bag or Libertarian. He is King over His kingdom.
Worldly power is not needed in the kingdom of God. This particular leaven has inundated evangelical Christians to a massive degree, even to forming faith in the political process above faith in the lump being changed by the leaven of the power of God. The Herodian heart has a mean, decisive, right-is-might, might-is-right, and exacting spirit behind it. To not agree with this philosophy is to not agree with God. It always joins with the legal and hypocritical heart of the Pharisee to get its way, shouting “Glory to God” from a dead heart filled with political slogans. The true test is that the Herodian heart turns to a human personality above the personality of God.
“Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, not the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). The New English Bible says of this text, “The old leaven of corruption is working among you. Purge it out, and then you will be a bread of a new baking.”
Jesus, Purge me of old leaven. Make me a bread of a new baking.
“Take heed; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of the Herodians.” Jesus