The Parables of Jesus
March 14, 2022
“Just watch it grow.”
Baking homemade bread has become a bit of a lost art. It’s so easy nowadays to just go to the supermarket and pick up a loaf of packaged bread or bread from the bakery department.
My wife Kathy bakes bread at least twice a month. One of her favorites is a honey/oat bread recipe. My favorite is the one you see pictured above that she baked about a week ago. It’s a knock-off recipe of the bread you’re served at Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
I’ve helped my wife with the ingredients when she makes bread, but generally, bread is her thing. I bake the cakes, sweets, and cheesecakes😊
What’s especially interesting when watching Kathy bake bread is to see what just a tiny amount of yeast can do. For the Carrabba’s bread recipe, she adds two cups of flour, salt, a little water, and one and a half teaspoons of yeast (there are more ingredients, but for my purpose here, this will do). I’m always amazed to watch after she adds the yeast to the water. Kathy waits for the yeast to begin bubbling slightly before adding the flour.
Without the yeast working in the dough, you’d have what the Bible calls, Unleavened bread. Tortillas are unleavened bread. And because they have no yeast, they do not rise.
Kathy’s bread needs to rise twice in a slightly warm oven. During the summer, we use our laundry room which is unairconditioned and very warm, to allow the bread to rise. Then, it’s in the oven for about 30 minutes, and you have the bread shown at the top of this devotion.
In today’s Parable, Jesus uses yeast and its effect on flour in baking as an analogy for growing the Kingdom of God.
“He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds (Or about 27 kilograms) of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33
The above reading is taken from the NIV (New International Version)
Let’s take a look at the ESV (English Stand Version) as well:
“He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour till it was all leavened.” Matthew 13:3
The original terminology for yeast was leaven. Three measures were not 3-cups. It is believed that three measures were 40-60 pounds of flour.
Sixty pounds of flour, when baked with yeast and other ingredients, would make approximately five dozen loaves of bread.
The word “yeast” used in this Parable shows us how Jesus works and the power of the Gospel. God has given us one thing to grow and broaden His church here on earth, and that is the Gospel.
Just as in the last three Parables I’ve presented to you discuss spreading the seed of the Gospel; here, Jesus tells us to spread the yeast of the Gospel. Just like someone adds yeast to flour to cause it to rise, our sole job is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and watch it grow.
You and I are messengers of God’s Word. We are charged to deliver the message of Hope, Love, Forgiveness, and Righteousness found in the Gospel. From there on in, the Holy Spirit will grow and reap the harvest of the seeds and yeast (Gospel) we have sown for God.
I find it exciting to watch people grow in the Faith because we have shared God’s word with them, just like a loaf of bread rises because of the addition of yeast.
Dear Jesus. Help us to continue to spread your Gospel message to the world. We are always filled with joy as we see it grow and change people from the inside out. Amen.