A parable is an earthly story used to depict a spiritual reality. A parable could also mean using what you can see to describe an unseen reality or using what is visible to explain invisible things. Jesus often communicates to men while on earth using parables. He often uses what is familiar to the people to describe a spiritual reality that they do not know.
The parable of the yeast is recorded in two different books of the Bible; it is recorded in Matthew 13:33 and also in Luke 13:20-21. This parable can also be referred to as the parable of the leaven. Literally, yeast or leaven is a baking powder that, when mixed with flour, has the ability to make bread dough to ferment and expand.
Understanding the parable
“He told them still another parable: ‘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’” – Matt. 13:33 (NIV).
In the early centuries, when people baked bread, they’ll often add a little bit of dried leftover dough. This will act as yeast and cause the new dough to rise. So, Jesus used this illustration to explain how the kingdom of God would significantly increase when the Holy Spirit causes the bread of the gospel of Christ to be distributed to many.
There were some profound lessons Jesus wants us to learn from the parable of the yeast. First, the kingdom of God would have a small origin but eventually increase significantly. At the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, there were twelve disciples with Him. At His death and resurrection, He ordered his followers to gather at Jerusalem; then, they were 120. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came, Peter preached, and three thousand souls were added. Then at the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, another five thousand souls were added. And so has the kingdom been increasing until now. It started with Jesus but is growing continuously.
Second, the parable of the yeast shows that the work of the kingdom of God is invisible. As we have in the bread, the yeast thoroughly mixes up with the dough and becomes unseen. The labors of men who take up the gospel work may be done secretly; however, the effect will be seen as the kingdom of God expands. God changes men from within, and the impact of that change manifests outwardly.
Third, as the dough could not rise on its own without the effect of the yeast, so is the world helpless without the message of the gospel being preached. The message of Christ is the yeast that leavens the world and causes a great harvest of souls, which increases the kingdom of God. Even though yeast works silently, its effect in the dough is undeniable. The gospel of Christ has a great multiplier effect in the kingdom of God.
Understand the images and color them accordingly
There are five images in the text. You are going to paint them appropriately and share them with your friends. I will help you understand the pictures and how to color them.
The First image
The first image shows a woman with some flour on a table. The dots on the flour represent the yeast. Apart from the flour, we also have a pot of water and two small plates on the table. The image suggests that the woman is about to bake some cake.
Now, color the woman’s hair with black and her dress with blue. Then paint the pot with black and the flour with yellow. Make sure the dots representing the yeast are colored as white and the plates with ash/gray.
The second image
The second image shows a hand mixing the flour and the yeast together with water. Color the flower with yellow and the water with white.
The third image
The third image shows the woman with her kneading stick after she had finished kneading. Notice that the dough has now risen compared to the size of the first image. Now, color the woman and the pot as you did before; also paint her kneading stick with brown color and the dough with yellow. Still, paint the plates as ash/gray.
The fourth image
The dough has been cut into sizes into a baking pan and is now ready to be put into the oven. Now, color the woman as you did before. Also, color the oven with black and red; only color the double lines with red and the other parts with black. Give the baking pan any color of your choice.
The fifth image
This is the last image. The cakes have been baked and put into a plate. But, there’s something new here: they are now two persons. The baker has shared part of her cake with her daughter.
Now color the woman as you have been doing. Also, color her daughter’s hair with black and her dress with green. You may paint the plate with any color of your choice.
Share with your friends
As you can see from the fifth image that the baker shared with someone, you also need to share this with your friends. Narrate the parable of the yeast to your friends and ensure to use the images to explain.
Now let me explain how the images relate with the parable of the yeast and the significance of each image. The baker is God, and the dough represents the world. God wants to save the world and increase His kingdom, so He needed to send Jesus Christ into the world to die for the sins of man. The gospel of Christ now represents the yeast. So, God (the Baker) brought Jesus Christ (the yeast) into the world (the dough), and that made all the difference.
Those who believe in Christ Jesus are the increase of God’s kingdom. God has shared salvation (the cake) with us, and He wants us to share it with others as well. I have shared with you now, and you need to do the same with your friends. Henceforth, you will have to share this message of God’s love with your friends by explaining what this parable means to them.