“Watch out: beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15)
One day Jesus was in a boat with His disciples, and they were upset because they had forgotten to bring bread. They were worried about what they would eat. Jesus’ response was so profound. He said,“Watch out: beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15)
Jesus asked the men with Him to think back to the times when He had provided for them. He wanted them to understand that their daily provision and future success should rest on God; not on their own abilities.
The Pharisees trusted their good works and Herod trusted his wealth and position for their provision and success. Both were self-sufficient and arrogant. Jesus was explicitly warning His followers not to trust the same ingredients for rising to success as the Pharisees and Herod did.
Clearly, we don’t have anyone in our day who carries the labels, “Pharisee” or “Herod”. However, we do have a constant pressure to identify ourselves by our good works, our money, our position, our talents, our knowledge, or anything else that this world offers for security and success. That pressure can come from either religion or secular culture. All of us have been in settings where we felt that pressure as we looked around at those who had “made it”.
Look around your life: Where are you wishing for more? Do you need to just trust God to provide for you? We can spend the days of our lives in frantic grasping for more or we can walk with Jesus in quiet confidence that He will give us everything we need for the measure of success that He wants us to enjoy. No more and no less.