How will these Christians react to this teaching? Will they discover what is motivating them? And will their leaven be the same leaven as in the Pharisees? The Pharisees are members of a politico-religious party. They are important people in our world. Leaders in church and state.
As we listen in to Jesus instructing his key followers, we begin to wonder whether Jesus has a good point to make – to his own followers.
They’ve got things to hide, you know, these Christians. It must be leaven that they’re hiding. But what is Pharisaic leaven?
And listen to Jesus whilst he tells them the truth: Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
That’ll be the day. We, the crowd, can imagine what it’ll be like when whatever these Christians are hiding is revealed. On the JEP front page.
And there’s more: Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. Jesus is telling these Christians – in our hearing – that all their secret whispers will be shouted out. Bravo for Jesus! We knew it was like that.
But somehow there’s something wrong. Jesus is not condemning his disciples – he’s speaking in a caring way. He wants their good. He really, really, wants them to watch out for this leaven within themselves.
What on earth, then, is this leaven, this hypocrisy, this pretence which will so greatly embarrass all of them if they have it within them? Why is Jesus trying so hard to get his followers to watch out for what might be within them. What is so attractive that they might be welcoming it – like leaven – within themselves?