Origens Commentary On The Gospel Of Matthew by Origen
5. Concerning the Leaven of the Pharisees.
|And His disciples came to the other side and forgot to take loaves.| Since the loaves which they had before they came to the other side were no longer useful to the disciples when they came to the other side, for they needed one kind of loaves before they crossed and a different kind when they crossed, -- on this account, being careless of taking loaves when going to the other side, they forgot to take loaves with them. To the other side then came the disciples of Jesus who had passed over from things material to things spiritual, and from things sensible to those which are intellectual. And perhaps that He might turn back those who, by crossing to the other side, |had begun in spirit,| from running back to carnal things, Jesus said to them when on the other side, |Take heed and beware.| For there was a certain lump of teaching and of truly ancient leaven, -- that according to the bare letter, and on this account not freed from those things which arise from wickedness, -- which the Pharisees and Sadducees offered, of which Jesus does not wish His own disciples any longer to eat, having made for them a new and spiritual lump, offering Himself to those who gave up the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees and had come to Him -- |the living bread which came down from heaven and gives life to the world.| But since, to him who is no longer going to use the leaven and the lump and the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the first thing is to |see| and then to |beware,| so that no one, by reason of not seeing and from want of taking heed, may ever partake of their forbidden leaven, -- on this account He says to the disciples, first, |see,| and then, |beware.| It is the mark of the clear-sighted and careful to separate the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees and every food that is not of |the unleavened-bread of sincerity and truth| from the living bread, even that which came down from heaven, so that no one who eats may adopt the things of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but by eating the living and true bread may strengthen his soul. And we might seasonably apply the saying to those who, along with the Christian way of life, prefer to live as the Jews, materially, for these do not see nor beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, but, contrary to the will of Jesus who forbade it, eat the bread of the Pharisees. Yea and also all, who do not wish to understand that the law is spiritual, and has a shadow of the good things to come, and is a shadow of the things to come, neither inquire of what good thing about to be each of the laws is a shadow, nor do they see nor beware of the leaven of the Pharisees; and they also who reject the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead are not on their guard against the leaven of the Sadducees. And there are many among the heterodox who, because of their unbelief in regard to the resurrection of the dead, are imbued with the leaven of the Sadducees. Now, while Jesus said these things, the disciples reasoned, saying not aloud, but in their own hearts, |We took no loaves.| And something like this was what they said, |If we had loaves we would not have had to take of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees; but since, from want of loaves, we run the risk of taking from their leaven, while the Saviour does not wish us to run back to their teaching, therefore He said to us, |Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.|| And these things then they reasoned; Jesus, while looking to that which was in their hearts, and hearing the reasons in them, as the true overseer of hearts, reproves them because they did not see nor remember the loaves which they received from Him; on account of which, even when they appeared to be in want of loaves, they did not need the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.