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The Yeast


                 CHAPTER 5 THE YEAST


              The Parable of the Yeast is found in Matthew  13:33  and
         Luke  13:20-21.   This short parable  is sometimes called the
         Parable of the Leaven.

The Story
                  He [Jesus] told them  still  another
                   parable:  "The  kingdom of heaven is like
                   yeast that a woman  took and mixed into a
                   large amount of flour until it worked all
                   through the dough." (Matthew  13:33,  New
                   International Version).

                        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, New
                   International Version).

              Again, Jesus took a familiar phenomenon of everyday life
         and taught a  spiritual  truth.  A  woman was  making  bread.
         She  took  some  yeast and kneaded it into three SATAS (about
         1/2 bushel or 22 liters)  of flour.  The  yeast grew until it
         permeated the mixture.

The Interpretation

 Bakers' yeast is a microscopic one-celled plant that  is nearly colorless.
 It has no chlorophyll and it is classified  as a fungus.  It is dependent on
 green plant starch or sugar for food.  It reproduces by developing a bud, which   separates  and grows into  another  yeast  cell.  Yeast  produces two  enzymes,  invertase and zymase, which help  to convert starch to sugar, and sugar to  alcohol, carbon  dioxide and  energy.
         This  process is called fermentation.  Breadmakers add yeast
         (and sometimes sugar) to  dough  and  place  the  dough in  a
         warm  place.   The  carbon  dioxide  that is produced  forms
         bubbles in the dough and causes the dough to  rise.    Baking
         causes  the  gas to expand even more, and most of the alcohol
         is driven off.

              The  yeast  at  first  represents the Word of God, which
         becomes believers (the  Word incarnate). The woman represents

              The flour is the world population.    As  yeast  spreads
         throughout  dough,  so the kingdom of God spreads  throughout
         the world.   By interpreting    this  parable  in  scriptural
         context, the whole world  will not be saved, although society
         will be affected positively.  This  parable  does  not  teach
         universal  salvation even though the salvation of everyone is
         a noble thought.

                                 Central Truth
                            MANY WILL BE CONVERTED,
                        AND THEIR NEW CHRISTLIKE NATURE
                           WILL INFLUENCE THE WORLD.
                   Let  us  constantly sow the Word of God, which will
         penetrate the hearts of people who receive the Truth.   Their
         Christlike  lives,  in  turn,  will  permeate  and  influence
         society.  END