THERE IS MORE SAID IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW
The Parable of the Leaven / Jesus and the Purpose of the Parables, Part 27 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 1763 since Jan. 20, 2017 / Day 2,148 since Jan. 1, 2016)
TEXT: Matthew 13:33-35:
33 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 was leavened.
34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
John MacArthur said, “In spite of the tremendous power of sin and the power of Satan, in spite of the very sowing of tares among the wheat, in spite of the fact that three of the four soils are evil and rejecting, the power of the kingdom is so great it’s going to grow. Like a little tiny piece of leaven, hidden in a massive pile of dough, God’s kingdom permeates everything, and influences everything.”
In our last message in this series, we looked at how the parable of the mustard seed shows how the kingdom of heaven on earth would start small, but grow very large and benefit the entire world. In this message we are going to look at the next parable Jesus shared, which is the parable of the leaven.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “In this fourth parable Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to yeast (leaven) which, when mixed into a large amount of flour, continues to work till all the dough is permeated. Many expositors teach that the yeast here represents evil present in the interval of time between the Advents of the King. In the Bible yeast often represents evil. However, if the yeast in this parable represents evil, the idea would be redundant for evil was already represented by the weeds in the second parable. Therefore some feel that Jesus had in mind here the dynamic character of yeast. The nature of yeast is such that once the process of leavening begins, it is impossible to stop. Perhaps Jesus was implying that those who profess to belong to the kingdom would grow in numbers and nothing would be able to stop their advance. This idea fits with the nature of yeast and makes sense in the flow of these parables.
Matthew added that it is in keeping with Jesus’ earlier statements. By speaking in parables Jesus was fulfilling Scripture and at the same time was teaching truths not previously revealed.”
Similarly to the previous parable of the mustard seed, Jesus did not provide a direct interpretation of this parable, and it has been interpreted positively and negatively. Throughout most of church history, it has been interpreted as a positive explanation of how the Gospel and Christianity will spread throughout the world. More recently, it has been interpreted as a negative explanation of how false doctrine will spread within the visible Church.
In regards to the positive interpretation, St. John Chrysostom said, “What the Lord sets forth in this parable of the leaven is to say to His disciples, As leaven changes into its own kind much wheat-flour, so shall ye change the whole world. Note here the wisdom of the Saviour; He first brings instances from nature, proving that as the one is possible so is the other. And He says not simply ‘put,’ but hid; as much as to say, So ye, when ye shall be cast down by your enemies, then ye shall overcome them. And so leaven is kneaded in, without being destroyed, but gradually changes all things into its own nature; so shall it come to pass with your preaching. Fear ye not then because I said that many tribulations shall come upon you, for so shall ye shine forth, and shall overcome them all. He says, three measures, to signify a great abundance; that definite number standing for an indefinite quantity.” Another early church interpretation of this parable is that the leaven represents Jesus, who is shown through the three measures of meal, which is the three-fold revelation of the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospels. Another interpretation is that the leaven is the Gospel, set within the three measures of meal, which represent the three peoples of earth descended from Shem, Ham, and Japheth. That interpretation shows how God has saved believers from all peoples of the earth.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.