Jesus presented some of His most memorable lessons as parables. Parables are gifts we have received from God through Jesus’s walk on earth. The Parable of the Leaven is a short but profound parable.
"Again He asked, 'What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough'" (Luke 13:20–21, NIV)
What is leaven?
When someone was making bread in the first century, they'd throw in a little piece of dough that was held over from the last time they made bread. By this time that dough would have fermented and become leaven. When leaven was added to a new batch of bread, it would act like yeast, causing the bread to rise.
Leaven provided a perfect image of the kingdom of God. Here are three points that Jesus intends for us to take away from this parable.
1. Jesus’ Ministry started humbly
Like leaven, God’s kingdom would transform everything it touched, eventually changing the character of every culture.
2. Jesus’ Ministry wasn’t understood
The leaven works in secret, transforming people from the inside.
3. Jesus’ Ministry still transforms lives
Bread cannot leaven itself. In the same way, humanity was unable to manufacture the kind of changes required to reconcile with God. Through Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection, the leaven of the kingdom was kneaded into humanity—and through the Holy Spirit's arrival at Pentecost, it was activated.
This week our Sunday School lesson offers gives children and families ways to bake some homemade goodness! We have yeast and unleavened bread recipes. Yeast experiments that let children blow-up balloons and create a geyser. Just like the yeast in bread, the grace that God has given us allows us to grow… in love, acceptance and forgiveness to all!