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3 Leavens


My favorite preacher these days, Bill Johnson[i], teaches about the 3 leavens that Jesus talks about. It is a wonderful message. It is truly instructive about 3 spheres that can permeate our hearts and souls.

These 3 leavens are

  • The Leaven of the Pharisees (Matthew 16:6, Mark 8:15 and Luke 12:1)
  • The Leaven of Herod (Mark 8:15)
  • The Leaven of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:3 and Luke 13:21)

Each of these ‘leavens,’ starts as a thought or attitude, but like leaven, in short order it becomes a worldview, a paradigm by which we see and judge everything around us.

Jesus told the disciples

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. (Luke 12:1 NASB)

He is talking here about a religious spirit. This person takes on a pious and condescending air. As Jesus says they are marked most predominantly by hypocrisy. They talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. They pick at the sins of others and do not deal with their own sin. These are those with plank in eye disease.

Jesus also speaks of another leaven

Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. (Mark 8:15 NASB)

In Herod we see a Political spirit. This is a heart that is always vying for position and holding on tight to worldly style authority. This is the kind of authority that lords it over those in subjection. Someone pretending to be a Christian yet leavened by this heart attitude might try to legislate his or her religious views.

Frankly these are both prevalent today and both destructive. If the truth be known, most who do not know Christ, thinking about Christian, think about one of these two groups. They are not thinking about people permeated by the forgiveness of a Savior who looked past  REMOVED all their sin and redeemed them to the uttermost.

They think of a political rant about school prayer, or the homosexual agenda.

They think of a hateful banner waved in front of an abortion clinic or gay pride parade.

They don’t think of a family willing to give a home to a child who was the product of rape, or a date gone bad whose only judgment is to judge the baby worthy of a home and the woman worthy of love.

They don’t think of a friend willing to bring them into their home and help them to deal with the guilt and shame that has always been attached to their way of life, and help them find a way out.

Folks, it is time for us to put down our prejudices and love those who are bound and trapped in sin. [Tweet This]

It is time for us to stop holding trespasses against people when God has dropped the charges and paid the fines.

Let the leaven of the gospel of Jesus Christ Who loved you and gave Himself for you infiltrate your entire being.

BenThanks for coming by today.


photo credit: jazzijava via photopin cc

[i] This is not meant to be a summary of Bill Johnson’s sermon, rather musings on the 3 leavens he points out. I highly recommend this sermon. You can get a copy at

0 thoughts on “3 Leavens

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  3. Pam

    Thank you very much, I have been listening to Bill Johnson three Leaves over and over it is very inspiriting

    1. Ben Nelson

      Thank for stopping by. Yes it is an inspiring message and challenges me every time i hear it, or meditate on it. it's so easy to get infected by these ungodly influences.




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