The fourth teaching parable of the kingdom of God that Jesus gave is the parable of the yeast which is found in Matthew 13:33 and repeated in Luke 13:20-21.
Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” Matthew 13:33
The yeast referred to in this bible passage is used in baking as a leavening agent, where it converts the food/fermentable sugars present in dough into the gas carbon dioxide. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles.
It’s very important for us to keep the interpretation of these parables in context. This is another one about the kingdom of God. In other bible passages, yeast is used as a symbol of evil or uncleanness (Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:6). Here it is a positive symbol of growth. Although yeast looks like a minor ingredient, it permeates the whole loaf.
Again this parable is telling us that although the kingdom began small, it would grow and have a great impact in the world.
Jesus Christ is the yeast that makes the kingdom of heaven to grow large on earth. Without Jesus Christ, the kingdom of heaven will not and cannot be enlarged. Trying to build the kingdom by ignoring or taking away Jesus who is the catalyst of growth is like trying to make a bread without yeast. Sadly we are seeing more and more of this practice. There are people who want to identify with the kingdom but don’t want anything to do with Jesus Christ.
The power of Jesus Christ and His kingdom cannot be overemphasised. The gospel is spreading regardless of what we are seeing. The bible is being translated to so many languages today that it did 20 years ago. The internet is helping you and i participate in this. I have people following me and reading my blog from countries i never even knew existed. God is helping us build and the devil cannot stop this growth. With Jesus as the catalyst, growth is certain.
The next teaching parable is the parable of the treasure.
To read the first teaching parables of Jesus, click here.