—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees…’ Mark 8:11-26 Every time I drink wine I get indigestion. These days it’s pretty much the only taste of alcohol I enjoy, but I am very careful about drinking it simply because I don’t like the way it makes me feel. What’s interesting about yeast, in addition to it’s fermentation properties, is that it’s a small single-cell fungus which reproduces by fission (splitting) or budding. These “buds” often remain attached to the parent cell. In and of itself sugar turned into alcohol isn’t a bad thing, but our abuse of it can be far more destructive before we realize it. Jesus warns his disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisee not the Pharisee himself. What some of the Pharisees were offering in the Law, which was given by God for the good use of Israel, had been distorted and abused for their own self-preservation. As long as they could convince others to remain attached to their distorted view of the Law, the people never become free to believe in God’s redemption through faith in Christ. That which is given by God is intended to grow our faith and attach us to God’s Love. We have to beware of the yeast of distortion and abuse that longs to win us over and attach us to the burdens of guilt and unworthiness.