6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This is about the yeast of the Holy Spirit working in us, making us more like Jesus, helping us to walk the narrow way between the kingdom of this earth and the kingdom of God as we strive to serve Jesus.

The woman and the yeast, the Kingdom of God is…

Luke 13: verse 20 - 21

Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.“ Yeast is also referred to as Leaven

Leaven was a little bit of dough kept over from the last baking and had fermented in the keeping

Leaven is regularly used in Jewish teachings as a sign of influence, usually bad due to its fermented nature

This is how Jesus would have seen Mary make the bread for the household, mix a little in and the whole character of the dough changed, then you needed to work that little in until it worked through out the batch.

Jesus is saying this is how my kingdom will come

Consider the meaning here:

The kingdom starts from a small beginning, the leaven is small but it changes the whole, the death of one man in the overall sea of humanity is small, but it changes everything.

The kingdom works unseen, you cannot see the leaven working, you cant see the kingdom working as it works in human hearts, faith is spread as people speak of Jesus and tell of his love, his way of truth and life, his salvation and promise and as they live like he did.

The Kingdom works from the inside, to make the bread the dough needed kneading and then baking. It is the Holy Spirit who sows the “leaven” or faith in Jesus Christ into the flour of our hearts our souls.

The power of the Kingdom comes from the outside the Holy Spirit then kneads us (some like me need a good pounding) to increase faith, to use his gifts for Gods glory and to touch others around us bringing the kingdom into there lives.

Do you see the key message here, the dough had no power to change itself, no matter how much the dough tries it cannot become bread on its own, an outside power brings the seed, the spark that then brings the faith, that then brings the conversion, that then brings the repentance and the purification which results in salvation. Jesus is the seed, the Holy sprit is the one who plants it and kneads the dough to increase that gift of faith, using other ingredients like Grace and mercy to make us the bread of life as Jesus is.

Narrow Way points:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it like this; "The path of discipleship is narrow, and it is fatally easy to miss one’s way and stray from the path, even after years of discipleship. And it is hard to find. On either side of the narrow path, deep chasms yawn. To be called to a life of extraordinary quality, to live up to it, and yet to be unconscious of it is indeed a narrow way. To confess and testify to the truth as it is in Jesus, and at the same time to love the enemies of that truth, his enemies and ours, and to love them with the infinite love of Jesus Christ, is indeed a narrow way.

To believe the promise of Jesus that his followers shall possess the earth, and at the same time to face our enemies unarmed and defenceless, preferring to incur injustice rather than to do wrong ourselves, is indeed a narrow way. To see the weakness and wrong in others, and at the same time refrain from judging them; to deliver the gospel message without casting pearls before swine, is indeed a narrow way. BUT if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray. BUT if we worry about the dangers that beset us, if we gaze at the road instead of him who goes before, we are already straying from the path. For he is himself the way, the narrow way and the straight gate. He, and he alone, is our journey’s end. When we know that we are able to proceed along the narrow way through the straight gate of the cross, and on to eternal life, and the very narrowness of the road will increase our certainty. The way which the Son of God trod on earth, and the way which we too must tread as citizens of two worlds on the razor edge between this world and the kingdom of heaven, could hardly be a broad way." (...in ’Cost of Discipleship’). The entrance is narrow, we can’t take our baggage with us, our old ways, un-forgiveness, hate, bitterness, slander, lust, drunkenness the ways of sin and death need to be taken from us by the inward outward working of the Holy spirit. Remember its not by our strength its not by our power or how great we think we are, this is an act of mercy and grace by the Lord God almighty, we give thanks and praise for that.

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