The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. Mat 16:2 But He replied to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' Mat 16:3 "And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? Mat 16:4 "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He left them and went away.
I was looking into these verses and picked up a bit of trivia that I did not know. The Pharisees and Sadducees were not of the same religion. I will paste in what the Life Application New Testament Commentary says: The Pharisees and Sadducees were Jewish religious leaders of two different parties, and their views were diametrically opposed on many issues. The Pharisees carefully followed their religious rules and traditions, believing that this was the way to God. They also believed in the authority of all the books of Scripture that we now call the Old Testament and in the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees accepted only the books of Moses as Scripture and did not believe in life after death. These two groups, however, had something in common: Jesus was their enemy.
The Sadducees lived by the books of Moses. The first five books of Moses are referred to as the Pentateuch. Jewish people refer to is as the Torah. I looked up Torah to insure that it was the first five book I went to this web site. Click here. It is the first five books but now it may have additions.
Jesus did not answer the Pharisees nor the Sadducees. He instead gave them a parable to think about. He knew that no matter what he said or did they would not believe him. The parable is one most of have used “Red sky in the morning sailor take warning. Red sky at night sailor’s delight”. He is referring to himself. The red sky is right before them and they cannot see it. Then he refers to them as an evil and adulterous generation. He also referred to the sign of Jonah. Joanh who was in the fish for three days and nights. Jesus would die and be raised after three days. Do you think the Pharisees and Sadducees thought about this when Jesus was crucified and reborn? I doubt it, but for their sake, I hope they did.
Mat 16:5 and the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. Mat 16:6 And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Mat 16:7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, "He said that because we did not bring any bread."
Wouldn’t you think that by now the disciples would know that if food was needed Jesus would supply it? The reference that Jesus made to unleavened bread was used on purpose. Yeast is left out of the bread dough so that it will not rise. Here Jesus is referring to the yeast that the Pharisees and Sadducees bring. If the disciples buy into even one thing that the Pharisees or Sadducees are saying it would begin to lead to other wrong beliefs. Hence the yeast or rising of the wrong ideas implanted in them.
Mat 16:8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Mat 16:9 "Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? Mat 16:10 "Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? Mat 16:11 "How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Mat 16:12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
This was another life lesson that Jesus instilled into the disciples. The disciples were going to carry the load after Jesus left and it was imperative that they would not be influenced by non-believers.