Summary: We can learn a lot about teh nature of God's kingdom by understanding the power of yeast (Leaven).
Parable of the Yeast
We are in a series looking at some of the stories Jesus told.
If we are Christians these stories matter because we are supposed to live a life like Jesus. His priorities should be ours. He is our Template, our Mentor, and our Example.
If you are not a follower of Jesus, this matters as well, it's important to know what it means to be a Christ Follower. Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow him. That language means there is a cost, there is a price to pay.
One of the greatest mistakes the church made was telling people "follow Jesus and your life will be great". The truth is we follow Jesus because we have sin. He is the way to access the father. The thing is once that relationship begins God begins dealing with the sin in our lives. Our wrong thinking, and attitudes, and actions begin to change, and that change is hard. It's under pressure, in the trials that our true self comes out.
I've always had a problem with Christians wearing masks, pretending to be spiritual. I want to lead a church that is Authentic.
So these stories matter, In this series I am hoping we will gain insight and perspective that we may not have had before, or be reminded of the things that matter.
The story we will look at today is one of the smallest ones in the bible. I like punchy messages….
Matthew 13:33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
So Jesus is saying the kingdom of God is like yeast. The original word was leaven, Yeast hadn't been discovered yet.
Jesus as he did picked something his audience would have been really clear about and linked it to a spiritual idea.
To discover what aspect of the Kingdom Jesus is reveling we must understand the process of making bread back then
There were two types of Bread. Leavened and Unleavened. One was flat bread the other was lighter and had risen so it was easier to eat.
Bread was a staple food. Bread was made each and every day. If someone would not be home the bread would be packaged for them to take with them.
Jesus feed the 5000 with bread, in his model of prayer he says give us today our daily bread. Bread is referenced in many festivals, or ceremonies in Jewish culture. Bread show up in the last supper and we use it in communion services to this day.
The process of making bread then was more like we would go through to make sour dough today. They would use wheat if they could afford it or more commonly barley. It would be ground by hand in a mortar and pestle. There were mills that could do the job, but these things all cost money. For the common person it was a daily task of collecting, crushing and preparing and baking the bread.
So here's what we can learn about bread. Or more correctly today yeast or Leaven
1. Leaven Has a History
In order for the bread to rise there has to be an active ingredient. People would keep some of the dough from the previous batch for the next batch.
you start with a tablespoon of water and a table spoon of flour and mix them together in a container, in eight hours you add two tablespoons of water and two table spoons of flour and you wait, and in eight hours you double it again, and you wait.
They would feed it periodically and then would split it.
There are bakeries today making sourdough that have kept part of the previous batch going back generations.
So the kingdom is like something that is past from Generation to Generation.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
There's that word therefore again so we have to stop and ask what therefore is therefore. This passage comes at the end of the story that began in Hebrews 11 the story of people of faith, the heroes of the bible story.
And we can add to that 2000 more years of history, we don't stand alone we stand on the shoulders of believers and teachers, theologians and lovers of God. Each generation tears off a little piece of their dough and adds it to the next generation to help them rise and to keep it right.