The Parable of the Yeast
by Pastor Bill Meadows
“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole who leavened” (Matthew 13:33).
In Jesus, comparison of the present age in His parables, Christ used yeast as an illustration. It was common practice in the Middle East for people to take out a portion of dough previously fermented to add to take out a portion of dough previously yeast to add to a new hatch of dough in order to allow the yeast to spread. In this scripture an illustration of the character of the kingdom of heaven. Most interpreters are influenced by the postmillenarian view which was so dominant in the latter nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries that is identified as the yeast of the Gospel, however, is an arbitrary deduction; since throughout the Scripture, yeast always refers to something contrary to holiness and representing evil. In the Old Testament sacrifices of unleavened bread was used to represent the holiness of God and was specifically kept from having any leaven in it. In the typical representation of the professing church; “It is like leaven, which a woman took and his in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Luke 13:21), However, leaven in included because as a part of the kingdom of heaven, the professing church does contain a strain of evil.
Just as yeast entering dough tends to puff it up and make it look much larger than it really is, though adding nothing to its value. So, false doctrine such as the teachings of the Pharisees, unbelief as it was found among the Sadducees; and the worldliness of the Herodians tended to putt up religion but actually was an evil force. “then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees“ (Matthew 16:6). Even in the Epistles yeast was used to represent evil, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence to you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be” (Galatians 5:7-10). The fact that there is evil in both the true churches, the professing church is recognized in Scripture and is the basis for many exhortations and rebukes. This is according to be far better interpreted the yeast as this element of evil in the professing church, as is truth in the actual fulfillment of the prophecy. While evil has penetrated the church, it is not true that the Gospel has penetrated the entire world. Much of the world today has not even heard the Gospel.
At this point in Jesus’ unfolding of the parables, and before he explained the mystery of the parable of the weeds (Matthew 12:36-43), he again called attention to the fact that he was speaking in parables: “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not any anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will other things hidden since the foundation of the world‘
You will note on the analysis on the other side that Matthew 13 begins with the sowing of the Word in Christ‘s day and continues to the of this age. These parables outline God‘s program and Satan‘s opposition during this age. Satan will try to snatch the Word from your hearts, smother it with worldliness, or scorch it with persecution. There are multitudes going to hell, not because they are gamblers or drunkards, but because they have a “religious righteousness” apart from faith in Jesus.
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