Sly Guy

John woke up at 3 AM with a start. He dreamed that some sly guy was spying on him. As he tossed the covers from his pounding chest, a wave of dizziness swept over him.

Scritch, scratch, scuffle, scuffle.

What was that?

John stuck a leg over the side of his bed. Instead of stepping into a bedroom slipper as he expected, he fell over a body.

“Ow!” What was that?

“Don’t hurt me!” yelled the man who had made him fall. Because it was too dark to see him clearly, John felt his way to the door and flipped on the light switch. Then he spotted him. The unwelcome visitor sat huddled in a ball by a corner of the bed, his brown eyes shining with fear. His blond hair was a mess. The ragged shirt and pants he wore looked like they’d come from a dump.

“Well, aren’t you a sly guy! What are you doing here?” John asked.

“Just having a little snack,” the sly guy replied, eyeing a crumb-filled plate that sat on a nearby nightstand. John could have sworn he’d seen the guy somewhere before. “Who are you?” he asked.

“Just your friendly neighborhood Sadducee,” replied the frightened man. “You can call me Sad Sam, because I’m always sad, you see. Nothing ever goes right for me and…”

“Hey, wait a minute, sly guy! Haven’t I seen you in church?” John exclaimed. “As a matter of fact, I believe I have.”

Sad Sam sat up Indian-style. “I doubt it.”

John was convinced, however. “Yes! That’s exactly where I’ve seen you, sly guy. You’re the rude dude who doesn’t believe in miracles. I’ve heard you say things like ‘Money doesn’t just drop out of the sky’ and ‘God doesn’t do signs and wonders anymore. He uses modern medicine and up-to-date technology to get things done.’”

Sam’s eyes darted every which way. “Well, you know, I am a down-to-earth sort of person. Can I go now?”

“Not until I drag a confession out of you, sly guy,” John said.

Sam shot him a plastic smile. “What confession?”

John took a menacing step toward him. “Tell the truth, sly guy, and maybe I won’t have you arrested for breaking into my house.”

Sam Sadducee cleared his throat. “Well, if you must know, I’ve been living in your closet for quite some time. I sneaked in here after my wife kicked me out for causing too many catastrophes. She claims the negative things I said are what caused our roof to spring a leak, the floor to collapse, both our cars to get smashed, and some stray dog to bite her leg. She says she’s had it with me. All things considered, I figured it would be best for me to leave. I had no idea where to go, however. Then I happened to be walking by your house one day and saw your bedroom window open. So, I climbed in and decided to camp out here. It’s a lot safer than being at home.”

John shook his head. “So, you’re the one who jinxed me with all those nightmares!” He eyed the nightstand and the crumby plate. “Now I know where all those crackers came from too. At first I thought my Aunt Martha left them there. She’s really sneaky (as opposed to sly), but she wants me to gain weight. So, it seemed like something she would do. But all this time it was really you! Finally, I know the truth. Be that as it may, I thought those crackers tasted strange. As a matter of fact, they made me sick to my stomach but did that stop me? Of course it didn’t. Like a fool, I ate them anyway, just to make her happy. I can’t believe I didn’t bother to investigate the source of those rotten munchies!”

“Well, maybe you would have found out if you’d bothered to actually hang your clothes up in the closet instead of leaving them lying around everywhere,” Sam Sadducee suggested. “And by the way, they’re not crackers. They’re stale pieces of bread I brought with me when I came here. They just look like crackers because the bread never rises the way I expect it to. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the yeast. Instead of making the dough expand, like most yeasts do, it seems to suck the life out of it.”

“Actually, given your history, I’m not surprised,” John said. “I would appreciate it though if you’d clean up your crumbs and get out of here. I’ve had it with your poisoned bread.”

And that was the end – or was it?

Jesus warned his disciples to beware the leaven of both the Pharisees and Sadducees, but He wasn’t talking about real leaven that is kneaded into real bread. He was speaking of their teaching.

For “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

God’s words only do us good if we understand them. False teaching distorts God’s words and makes them spiritually inedible. You can get a stomach ache from bad teaching. That’s why it’s important to examine every teaching very carefully to discover whether or not it is from God.

 

 

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