January 3, 2021
Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened" (Matthew 13:33).
Leaven, in the Bible, is comparable to our baker’s yeast. It is that element that is added to dough that causes it to rise before baking into bread. It also adds a certain amount of flavoring to the bread. In The Parable of the Leaven, Jesus refers to the common practice of baking bread by using leaven.
Leaven causes dough to rise, but the process takes time. The Israelites, when God freed them from captivity in Egypt, had no time to spare, so, in their haste, they baked and ate flat (unleavened) bread for their journey. With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves (Exodus 12:39).
Leaven is often used to symbolize sin or corruption (Matthew 16:6,12), Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees" . . . Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
In The Parable of the Leaven, Jesus used the word to express the growth of His Kingdom on earth through the preaching, teaching, and discipling of the Gospel on earth. Just as a small portion of the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees with their false doctrine could permeate a person’s heart and mind and make him spiritually corrupt, so a small portion of the ‘leaven’ of truth of the Gospel can permeate a person’s heart and mind and make him spiritually alive in Christ.
But again, just as a seed growing into a mature plant takes time and nurturing and care, so leaven takes time to fully leaven a batch of dough to make it ready for baking and consumption.
The point here is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful. It is a catalyst for change. When received into the life a person is made alive in Christ, is saved, justified, and sanctified. The person is changed and his life is changed. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, that Your Word is living and powerful and is able to change a person like me from a wretched sinner into an eternally grateful saint. I am grateful that you gave me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a receptive mind and spirit to believe the truth of Your Gospel that was able to save me, and continues to save me forever. I bless Your holy name for such a wonderful gift. Amen.”