Yeast is a bacterial fungus or mold. It works through and permeates the dough. It is used in the bible both as symbols of positive and negative influence.
Yeast as a positive growth
Matthew 13:33 – The kingdom of Heaven is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.
Yeast as a symbol of uncleanliness or corruption
Leviticus 2:11 – Every grain offering you bring to the Lord must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the Lord.
Yeast as a symbol of hypocrisy of Heart and Old Self
Matthew 16:6 – Jesus said to them. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Also Mark 8:15)
1 Corinthians 5: 6-8 – Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
This bible devotional focuses Matthew 13:33, a comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven with the Yeast. (Another Bible Symbol – Yoke). This is the only passage in the bible that uses Yeast as a positive influence!
- Growth of a yeast in the dough, is subtle, internal, permeable. Even small amount of yeast can affect the whole dough.
- Similarly, the spread of Kingdom of God is, to be like yeast, small, insignificant at first, but as it grows and multiplies, it affects the individuals, community, city, nation and the world.
So, how should we spread the Kingdom of God to the world?
We need to realize that we do not go to the world with know-it-all attitude, with the spiritual arrogance. For we soon realize that our petty and prescribed answers fall way short to those who are in the world. It is not our spiritual intellect or ready answers that brings people to Christ, but it is the power of Kingdom of God; that internal, subtle, permeable, power and growth within individuals that bring them to a living and saving faith in Christ Jesus.
The gospel therefore must be spread like a yeast.