Read Matt 16:1–12
Mat 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall no sign be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. And He left them and went away… 6 And Jesus said to them, Take heed, and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees…11 How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you about loaves, but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? (12) Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Of course, Jesus had given all kinds of signs by this time, healings, casting out demons, raising the dead and multiplying the loaves, but the Pharisees and the Sadducees would have none of it. They are given the same thing that we are given to believe, the Word of God and an empty tomb. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham tells the rich man, they have Moses and the prophets. If they will not listen to them, they will not repent even if someone rises from the dead.
But you see, someone did rise from the dead. Jesus rose from the dead. His empty tomb is with us to this day. That’s all we have and the Word of God pointing Jesus to us as our messiah, our redeemer, our savior from sin, death and the power of the devil. If you are seeking anything more, you are part of that wicked and adulterous generation. No other sign will be given you.
Now what is this leaven, this doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees? Just this, that Jesus isn’t the messiah, the chosen one of God. Beware of this doctrine that has you seeking another person or another way to God other than faith in Jesus. They are false and misleading and take you off the path that leads to repentance and faith in Christ unto eternal life. The way of the Pharisees and Sadducees demands proof, but proof they will never be satisfied with.
If you don’t want to follow Christ, no amount of evidence will convince you to repent of your idolatry and follow Jesus. No miracle in the sky or wonder worked below will ever satisfy your soul that you are doing the right thing being a disciple of Jesus. You are already predisposed to not follow him.
But listen to this, Jesus is risen from the dead. His lifeblood was received by the Father above as an atoning sacrifice for your sins. You are forgiven by God the Father on account of Christ Jesus. Because Jesus is risen from the dead, you too are given the promise of a resurrection unto eternal life through faith in him and being joined to him in the waters of baptism. (Rom 6:3ff).
O Lord, Jesus Christ, help us always to discern the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees that we might righty reject them and keep our hearts trusting firmly in your life, death and resurrection and be joined with you in the heavenly places now and forever. Amen.