Yeast and Seed

Thoughts from this Saturday morning:

Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, and then he immediately also says it is like yeast, which is a bit curious, since yeast has negative connotations throughout the rest of the Bible. I like yeast, so I'm glad to see it get some good biblical press.

The mustard seed is tiny, but it grows into a huge tree. A tiny bit of yeast is kneaded until it works through an impressively large amount of dough. The commonalities may be obvious:

Thought 1: The kingdom of God may start out small, but it ends up being huge, taking over everything. This has implications for the church worldwide, the so-called Christendom, but (also according to Jesus) the kingdom of God is within us, and thus it has implications for our lives. In other words, nothing is safe. In the language of my old youth pastor (and sadly, I can't even remember which one), "God is OK if you just build another room for him, off the side of your house. As long as you burn down the rest of the house." The yeast will have all of the dough. The mustard seed will become the biggest of all the garden plants. So be it.

Thought 2: Yeast works through dough, and mustard seeds become trees, but only through time. This is comforting to me, as I know the yeast has yet to work through all the dough. Jesus has another parable about seeds, where he reminds us that a farmer plants seed and waters it, but even when he is sleeping, the seed is growing, by powers that are far beyond the farmer's control. In other words, he has help. Thus, this process takes time, and it takes grace, with the seed and the yeast growing even while we sleep.


The Haytons said...

My Sabbath School class just studied Matt. 13 for an entire year. I loved it. I totally agree that it is interesting that Jesus likened 'the kingdom of heaven' to evil 'yeast'. Either 'the kingdom of heaven' isn't all perfect OR yeast isn't all evil :)
My favorite parable was "the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant, who found a pearl and did everything in his power to attain it." God is the merchant and we are the perfect pearl which He did everything in his power to attain.
Love it.