Conversation With God

loaves of breadToday there was something different about this passage:

Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Yeshua, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When evening comes, you say, ‘Fair weather coming, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Stormy weather today, for the sky is red and gloomy.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times! An evil and adulterous generation clamors for a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.“ And leaving them behind, He went away.

Now when the disciples came to the other side of the sea, they had forgotten to take bread. “Watch out,” Yeshua said to them, “and beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, “We didn’t bring any bread.”

But knowing this, Yeshua said, “O you of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? You still don’t get it? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered? Or how about the seven loaves for the four thousand and all the baskets of leftovers you gathered? How is it that you don’t understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? Now beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” Then they understood that He wasn’t talking about the hametz in the bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. – Matthew 16:1-12

After reading it once, I felt impressed to read it again. Something was hidden there that I just didn’t see. It was as though the Lord asked, “What is the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees?”


“Read it again.”

So I did and finally found what God was telling me.

When I looked at the teaching as though it were yeast in the bread, Yeshua’s teaching multiplied and brought life. It nourished and satisfied the need of the body and the soul.

On the other hand, the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees did not do that.


“But,” I asked, “Yeshua told us that they sit in the seat of Moses and we should take care to do everything they tell us.”

“Ah,” He replied, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.

Start digging.”

So, my friends, that is a lesson for another day.


7 Responses to Conversation With God

  1. James June 13, 2017 at 8:26 am #

    I always thought the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees was hypocrisy especially because Yeshua commanded his disciples to do all that they taught. Yeshua’s teachings and that of the Pharisees wasn’t that far off, it was only that the Pharisees didn’t practice what they preached and Yeshua did.

    • Ro Pinto June 13, 2017 at 8:45 am #

      I agree that hypocrisy is part of it, but I get the sense that there’s more to it. Either that or I am just reading more into it than is there.

      One thing I noticed that I never paid attention to before, was that in Matthew 16 Yeshua says to beware of the hametz of Pharisees and Sadducees. In 23 He instructs us to do all that the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees say. He doesn’t name the Sadducees as a specific group as He did in former verse. So it got me to thinking if there is more to this than a cursory reading indicates. Is there an intersection of the teachings of both groups? Is it more than just hypocrisy? After all, it was the ‘teaching’ of these groups that He warned us about.
      So…I’m digging. 🙂

  2. Questor June 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

    There is a change in instructions to the Apostles when they were given the right to change halachah…the binding and loosing. I think that it over-rides anything that was taught before, since Yeshua was now the source of their knowledge, not the Scribes and Pharisees. So following what was taught before Yeshua is not applicable.

    I do not think we are discussing teaching about the underlying Torah, because Yeshua never sought to change what he as the Father had already given as instruction, but the Talmud…the Oral Law, that the Scribes and the Pharisees thought to be more important than what G-d decreed…a muddying of the waters…a leavening of the pure bread.

    Not merely hypocrisy, disguised by the changing of rules on how to keep Torah, but actually changing Torah with the rules and regulations of the Scribes and Pharisees.

    • Ro Pinto June 14, 2017 at 5:09 am #

      I agree that Yeshua came after the Scribes and Pharisees for lifting the traditions of man above God’s word. Yet He told us to do what they say.

      Replacement theology says that the Apostles have the authority in place of the sages, so I tend to steer clear of that line of thinking.

      I keep going back to the terminology used: Pharisees and Sadducees, not Scribes/Torah Scholars.

  3. Questor June 14, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    In Matthew 23, Yeshua is telling the Pharisees and Sadducees that he is sending Prophets, wise men and scribes that would be persecuted by those same Sadducees and Pharisees, and then condemns them at length for what they are about to do to those that bear his authority to bind and loose, as the Notsrim Prophets, Sages and Scribes would be able to do for the Notsrim…which authority the Saducees and Pharisees would not have when the Prophets, Sages and Scribes of the Notsrim were sent, for Yeshua was condemning the Sadducees and Pharisees for what they said and did. If the Apostles were being obedient to the Sadducees and Pharisees, why would they be persecuted?

    If the Apostles were supposed to be obedient to the Sadducees and Pharisees, they would not have spoken of Yeshua after his resurrection and ascension, and of the Gospel of the Kingdom at all when they were ordered not to by the Sadducees and Pharisees. If this were true, there would never have been any Notsrim Judaism.

    It is not a replacement theology to state that Yeshua’s Jewish Apostles had Yeshua’s authority to bind and loose halachah for the Believers who were Jews, particularly when there were no Greek Believers at the time, and when there were, the Apostles did issue halachah that was binding on the Notsrim in regard to the Greek Beleivers not being under the legal obligations of Torah to be circumcised and take on all of the Torah.

    Replacement theology is about the Christian Church believing they receive the promises now instead of the Jews because the Jews forfeited that promise…that the Church has become Israel.

    Matthew 23:1-36 (NJB)
    1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said,
    2 ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses.
    3 You must therefore do and observe what they tell you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practise what they preach.
    4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they!
    5 Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels,
    6 like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues,
    7 being greeted respectfully in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
    8 ‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers.
    9 You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven.
    10 Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ.
    11 The greatest among you must be your servant.
    12 Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.
    13 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to.
    15 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and anyone who becomes one you make twice as fit for hell as you are.
    16 ‘Alas for you, blind guides! You say, “If anyone swears by the Temple, it has no force; but anyone who swears by the gold of the Temple is bound.”
    17 Fools and blind! For which is of greater value, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?
    18 Again, “If anyone swears by the altar it has no force; but anyone who swears by the offering on the altar, is bound.”
    19 You blind men! For which is of greater worth, the offering or the altar that makes the offering sacred?
    20 Therefore, someone who swears by the altar is swearing by that and by everything on it.
    21 And someone who swears by the Temple is swearing by that and by the One who dwells in it.
    22 And someone who swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is seated there.
    23 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay your tithe of mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law—justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, those not neglected.
    24 You blind guides, straining out gnats and swallowing camels!
    25 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance.
    26 Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that it and the outside are both clean.
    27 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of corruption.
    28 In just the same way, from the outside you look upright, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
    29 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build the sepulchres of the prophets and decorate the tombs of the upright,
    30 saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our ancestors’ day.”
    31 So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the children of those who murdered the prophets!
    32 Very well then, finish off the work that your ancestors began.
    33 ‘You serpents, brood of vipers, how can you escape being condemned to hell?
    34 This is why—look—I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some you will slaughter and crucify, some you will scourge in your synagogues and hunt from town to town;
    35 and so you will draw down on yourselves the blood of every upright person that has been shed on earth, from the blood of Abel the holy to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
    36 In truth I tell you, it will all recoil on this generation.

    • Ro Pinto June 15, 2017 at 6:57 am #

      Hi Questor. First, please know that I am not suggesting you believe in replacement theology, just that saying the Apostles replaced the Sanhedrin as having authority to bind and loose sounds like it.

      It’s funny – in my reading I am just starting in Matthew 16, which is where Yeshua discusses binding and loosing. (Don’t you just love the way Adonai works?)

      I did some digging into binding and loosing. It seems to have been a popular phrase in Yeshua’s time. It also happens to be these scriptures (Matthew 16:18-19, 18:18-19) on which the Catholic Church bases it’s authority. Yet, I can’t help notice that the discussion of binding and loosing takes place in the Galilee before Yeshua enters Jerusalem as the Passover Lamb.

      There He submits to the questioning by the ruling kohanim, the elders, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees. Not only was this politically motivated, but it was the job of the Sanhedrin to question everyone who claimed to be (or was thought to be) Messiah. And we know that Yeshua was not the only one at the time.

      In looking at the job of the posek, they are to decide halacha. I went to Acts 4 where Peter and John (sounding much like the prophets of old) said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you decide.For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They were in the same situation as the prophets of old were – just as Yeshua said would happen.

      Now, He also said the blood of all the righteous from Abel to Zechariah would fall on them, but I don’t recall seeing where He said the authority to decide halacha would be removed from them.

      Here’s something that I’ve pondered for a while: In Revelation 4 there are 24 elders on 24 thrones. Could it be the 12 tribes and the 12 Apostles?

      Just a thought.

      • Questor June 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

        After AD 70 there was no Sanhedrin, only the surviving Pharisees under Akiva, and those Jews living in Babylon and in the Diaspora, all making their own community Halacha in disagreement with each other, without the authority of the Temple system, or indeed, civil authority over Judea. And in Akiva’s time, the 19th ‘blessing’ was added to the Amidah, cursing all of the non-pharisees, and has not been dropped to this day. Consequently, why any Messianic Believer would want to follow their halachah, when it is in direct contravention of the Torah puzzles me. Certainly it should inform our thoughts, but be weighed carefully.

        Yeshua, under the authority of the Sanhedrin, submitted to it, because they were at that time, able to direct legally all of the civil and religious law. After AD 70, the Pharisees had no such legal authority, and to me, were breaking commandments right and left as they sought a way to preserve Pharisaic Judaism, and keep hold on a world that was drifting away from their control, and at the same time, eliminating all other kinds of Judaism where they could.

        As for the Apostles, they did not issue any other decree’s that I know of that is not in Scripture, and that was about the Gentiles coming into Notsraic Judaism. Otherwise, they simply kept on as they began, teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and moving father afield than Judea, did not teach any particular halachah to the Gentiles that has come down to us, other than in the keeping of the moedim as was done in their synagogues in the diaspora, which became unpopular in the 200’s. Jews, of course, learned what their traditions were from their mother’s knee, and upheld them to the degree allowed under all the persecution they were subject to.

        As for the Elders in Rev 4, John spoke of himself as seeing them, not being one of them, which makes it hard to figure out…but who else other than the Patriarchs and the Apostles?

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