I love Matthew 13 because Jesus goes to great lengths to help us understand the Kingdom of God that he has been preaching about.
One of my favorite parables about the Kingdom of God is Matthew 13:33. Listen to Jesus:
Matthew 13:33 (CSB) 33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and mixed into fifty pounds of flour until all of it was leavened.”
Leaven is yeast. We most commonly use the word “yeast” rather than leaven, so Jesus is using yeast as an illustration of how the Kingdom of God works.
How is it that yeast works so as to see what Jesus is telling us?
Yeast is single-celled living fungi. Yeast is microscopic, and those tiny little fungi need to eat for energy and life. Yeast gets their energy by eating carbohydrates such as sugars. They break down these carbohydrates in a process called fermentation, which produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. So the yeast eats carbs and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. Without carbon dioxide gas from yeast, bread would not rise. Yeast also converts various grains and water into beverages that contain alcohol and can be preserved for a long time.
Yeast consumes and takes over one thing and multiplies into multiple good things.
Jesus said that the kingdom of God is like yeast. The kingdom is not some massive organization that is initially visible. The kingdom is the good news of Jesus and his reign. This good news of the kingdom is tiny and seemingly insignificant and yet it is powerful and consumes and takes over and produces good things until it has taken over the whole of a person, a family, a city, a state, a nation, and the whole world. And yet it starts as a seemingly insignificant piece of good news.
This makes me understand that in order to operate in the kingdom of God I need a couple of things:
- Faith. I have to believe that what I can’t see tangibly in front of me is actually at work inside of me, around me, and for me.
- Patience. I have to believe that the kingdom is working its way through the entirety of something until it takes over, but it will take over.
Good news. Faith. Patience.