September 07, 2022

The Kingdom of God is Like Yeast

Matthew 13:31-33

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

—  Matthew 13:33

Years ago at a family reunion, one of our relatives asked our uncle for his bread recipe. Because he was a baker and he made many delicious loaves of bread in his bakery each day, our uncle kept his recipe a secret. Eventually, though, he relented. But to everyone’s surprise, the recipe he shared had quantities that could only be handled in a large bakery.

In Jesus’ short parable about yeast working through flour, one of the most surprising details is the amount of flour he describes. Sixty pounds of flour would make over 50 loaves!

Another surprising detail, of course, is the yeast. Here Jesus is challenging his listeners in the way they think about God. Yeast is something so small that it is practically invisible, and yet it has the potential to bring significant growth, making dough to rise dramatically before it is baked into bread.

Why would Jesus talk about little yeast particles that could work surprisingly through so much dough? The kingdom of heaven, he said, is like that yeast. This helps us see that even though we may not always notice it, God is working constantly in and through people’s lives throughout this whole wide world, building up his kingdom and providing us with the “bread of life” that we need in order to have life to the full.

God of wonders, you can use the smallest good things to bring abundant goodness and life as you grow your kingdom every­where. Amen.

About the author — Julia Prins Vanderveen

Julia Prins Vanderveen works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a copastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School.

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