The Parables of Jesus Christ: The Leaven

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: January 18, 2018

Category: Daily Devotional

Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’”
Matthew 13:33

I love to bake! My schedule does not permit me to do as much as I would like. When you don’t bake with great frequency you can get out of the rhythm. You also need to hone your skills. To that end one thing on my bucket list is to return one day to the state of Vermont that I love and go taking some baking classes at King Arthur Flour Company in Norwich.

Unlike certain other types of cooking, baking requires strict following of the directions and accurate measuring. It is easy to double recipes for main or side dishes and their quality is not significantly altered. The same cannot be said of baked goods! To double a recipe for baked goods often does not yield the desired results found when baking a single batch, cake or loaf.

The woman in this parable mixes her yeast with the three measures of flour. She wants leaven and the flour to be thoroughly mixed. Then she will add her liquid ingredient which will also ensure that the leaven is evenly distributed throughout the dough. The chemical reaction will begin once the liquid is added. The leaven is that agent, activated by the liquid which causes the bread dough to rise. The leaven causes the bread dough to increase in size. The leaven causes the bread to become light rather than heavy. The leaven is that ingredient when mixed with the others results in a product totally different from that which would have been made with flour and water.

There is no yeast in matzo. It is a flatbread that is a cracker … made with flour and water. A yeast roll is made with flour, water or milk and yeast. Cutting inside the roll you see the air pockets and the layers of the bread created by the leaven. The kingdom of heaven will increase in size as surely as yeast will leaven three measures of flour to make bread. There will always be an element of mystery as to how this works, but thanks be to God, it does!


O God, we thank You for the teachings of Jesus … particularly the parables. We praise and thank You God for working in mysterious ways … like yeast leavening bread so it increases in size as surely as the kingdom of heaven is. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.