Just a Little Yeast
Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Luke 13:20-21)
The work of the gospel often appears weak, humble, and small in its beginnings. The first breaking out of the gospel is like the sunrise. We see the purple, blue, and pink hues beginning to appear in the sky as the sun slowly makes its entrance, eventually giving full light to the day.
I love what Matthew Henry states about our verses for today:
“What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It will be quite different from what you expect. You expect it will appear great, and will arrive at its perfection all of a sudden; but you are mistaken, it is like a mustard seed, a little thing, is tiny to the eye, and promises but little; yet, when sown it became a tree. Many perhaps were prejudiced against the gospel, because its beginnings were so small. Christ wished to remove this prejudice, by assuring them that though its beginnings were humble, its future would be prosperous; so that many should fly there, to lodge in the branches of it. You expect it will make its way by external means, but it shall work like yeast, silently and intangibly, and without any force or violence. A little leaven leavens the whole lump; so the doctrine of Christ will strangely diffuse its savour into the world of mankind. But you must give it time, and you will find it does wonders. By degrees the whole will be leavened.”
The Good News grows within us! The seed begins to grow as our actions are changed and our knowledge becomes clearer through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our love and passion becoming more and more inflamed. Just as the yeast silently works through the dough, the seed of the Gospel grows, and the world cannot hinder its growth.
Again, Matthew Henry observes:
“Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by their preaching, place a handful of yeast in the great mass of mankind, and it had a strange effect; it put the world into ferment, and in a sense turned it upside down.”
The Gospel was effective, not because of the people presenting it, but because Jesus working in them through the power of the Holy Spirit! For we are told in Scripture:
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
Take It to Heart
When the Gospel is in the heart, it works a change. It begins to permeate all the faculties of the soul conforming us into the image of Jesus–winsome, encouraging, loving, and irresistible. It is thus effective not by outward force but by the inner force of the Holy Spirit.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (Isaiah 46:10)