And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15 ESV)

When the Son of God tells you to watch out and beware I think it would be good advice to consider.  He only gives a few such warnings in all of the scriptures.  However, I’m aware that when a parent tells a child to watch out and beware that the advice sometimes gets the opposite result…touching something hot comes to mind.  What was Jesus trying to get His followers to avoid?  

He had just dealt with a group of faithless people…people who were never satisfied…people who were bitter and callous towards the movement of God on the earth.  He wanted His true followers to stay away from that type of negativity.  He knew that a little bit of it could rub off on them. What did He mean by leaven?

Leaven was yeast.  This was an ingredient that would permeate a dough and cause it all to rise.  Jesus was teaching His followers (and us) that there are things in life that may start out very small but once they are in us they can take over and grow very large.  

Are these things we should watch out for today?  Yup!  Anything (big or small) that can infect our attitudes and behaviors is a leaven we must beware of.   Any group of people that would sway us away from a genuine faith is something for which we had better watch out.  What other things are worth putting a ‘beware’ sign upon? 

For more devotional thoughts you can visit .  We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper.  Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.