“Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ it wasn’t about bread?”
The yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees is self-righteousness and self-indulgence. Both philosophical perspectives are about self and lead away from truth and Christ. The Pharisees developed their own path to perfection and judgmentally condemned all who did not walk their path. Their way to salvation was through the performance of their fine-tuned rules and regulations. The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the body and anything that transcended this earthly life and thus embraced an Epicurean philosophy of ‘let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die’. They sought power in order to pursue their agenda unhindered. The Pharisees sought prestige and prominence in order to control the rabble with their rules. Both philosophies breed death in those who submit to such.
Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
The contrast of Jesus’ truth is clear. Die daily. Take up your cross. Be willing to subjugate your wants, needs, and self-fulfillment to the will of Lord Jesus. The irony is that only this will lead to eternal fulfillment in those who submit.