Aggressively Search for the Leaven

Apr 3, 2023 | Blog

In both Judaism and Christianity, the concept of leaven generally refers to sin—that which pollutes or corrupts us. In preparation for Passover, the Jews aggressively search for chametz or leaven. They go through the house to dust out the cracks and corners, even to the point of carrying a candle with a feather. Scripture tells us to be aggressive in removing the leaven (Exodus 12:15, 19; 1 Corinthians 5:6–8). So I think it behooves us to aggressively search for it. God has been emphasizing this idea of leaven to my own heart as it relates to anti-Semitism and our relationship with the Jewish people. As Christians, we need to search our hearts, our minds, our spirits, and our souls for chametz. Get into the light of the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to help you root out the leaven of anti-Semitism.


Leaven is tricky because it is small and not easy to find. At the same time, it is powerful in its ability to affect us. Leaven can sit for a long time without doing anything. During times of peace, the Jews blend into the communities around them, but the leaven of anti-Semitism is still there. All it takes is the right atmosphere, a little warm water, and it begins to blossom. That is the way anti-Semitism has been throughout the years. The Jews settle in an area as productive citizens. They go to Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe, and everything goes well until things begin to foment. Suddenly there are pogroms against the Jews, and they are killed and destroyed.


Ultimately, things exacerbated down through history until we had the Holocaust. We are surrounded by a great deal of anti-Semitism today, and we are seeing the rise of it throughout the nations. No matter what nation we live in, we have been infused and tainted by the leaven of anti-Semitism. That is what I am concerned about for us. We have been influenced by our parents, our culture, our public education, and the society around us. We cannot hear accusations against the Jewish people or news about boycotting Israel without it having some degree of influence on our hearts and minds. Anti-Semitism blooms from the leaven that is already there. We must have an aggressiveness, an intensity, almost a violence in our spirits to dig into our hearts and cry, “God, search me with the light of Your Holy Spirit and dig out of me whatever anti-Semitism has taken root.”


We do not want to be on the wrong side of God. He promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3).1 There is no way to get around the reality that the Church has been an instrument of cursing the Jewish people. It has been an instrument of rejection, replacement theology, supersessionism, and has tried to steal the promises over Israel. Do you have faith for Israel? Or are you just driven to convert them? They are already God’s people. The Scriptures explain that we as Gentiles were in this world without God, without a connection. It took Christ to reconcile us to the Father (Ephesians 2:11–16). But the Jews have had a covenant with God from the very beginning, going back to the days of Abraham. The Church must recognize that God loves the Jewish people. He has chosen them, and they are the apple of His eye. God has eternal covenants with them that He cannot break (Zechariah 2:8; Jeremiah 31:35–37). We must search out the leaven of anti-Semitism and see ourselves cleansed.


1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).

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