How would I describe the Kingdom of God, Jesus elucidated to His disciples. The Kingdom of God is God’s domain and Jesus as the Messiah; that Kingdom is in Heaven; it is not physical but spiritual. It symbolises the rule of God as opposed to that which is on Earth; for this reason, when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He told them to pray that the Kingdom of God comes; and that God’s Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. This implies that there is something special about this Kingdom of God. This is God’s rule in the life of His children, a Kingdom that is resident in the heart of the Christian. This is the same Kingdom that Jesus will come to setup physically when He comes to establish His throne here on Earth.
In describing the order of this Kingdom and how things assume their place and priority, Jesus compares the way things worked in this Kingdom to the parable of the leaven (yeast) that a woman adds to three measures of meal. Yeast is zumē in the Greek language, which typifies sour dough, in a high state of fermentation used generally in making bread. It requires time to fulfill the process when added to bread. When bread or cake was required at short notice, unleavened cakes or bread were used.
The Israelites were forbidden to use ‘leaven’ for seven days at the time of Passover, so that they might be reminded that the Lord brought them out of Egypt hurriedly – the unleavened bread was used. This bread was insipid in taste, reminding them too of their affliction, and of the need of self-judgment. It is also called the bread of affliction. The Leaven bread was also discounted and forbidden in all offerings to the Lord by fire being the bread of corruption and spreading through the mass of that in which it is mixed symbolizing the pervasive character of evil.
In the New Testament, leaven is used metaphorically of corrupt doctrine, of error as mixed with the truth. It therefore implies that throughout the history of Christianity, confirms the fact that the pure meal of the doctrine of Christ has been adulterated with error. So it is today in the body of Christ; too many teaching and propagating the false rather then the true Gospel. Leaven is also used to signify corrupt practices; Jesus told His disciples to beware of the doctrines of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
If leaven referred to corrupt practices and corrupt doctrines, why would Jesus compare the Kingdom of God to this same leaven, which a woman takes and hides in three measures of meal, after all the pictures He has painted about the effect of the leaven? Jesus in given this parable did not refer to the Kingdom of God as the leaven but helps us to understand the principles by which things worked in the Kingdom.
The LEAVEN is YEAST in today’s language used in the baking of bread. The nature of yeast is such that a very little amount is needed to bake say for instance bread. The effect of yeast on bread will help us understand the effect of the Word of God in the life of a believer. The YEAST is:
THE BEGINNING MIGHT BE SMALL: No matter how small you start anything in your life, a little yeast is needed to knead the dough, although microscopic in size, but given time; the yeast will spread through the bread. All you need is time and the effect of this little beginning to become evident. Jesus started with twelve disciples and we can see the effect it all has today.
IT MULTIPLIES: The Kingdom of God exerts its influence from within and not without. It is not what we do on the external that brings about the change but what we take in as in the Word of God we imbibe. Yeast starts to work from the inside and not outside and although one cannot readily see its influence physically, but there is a great depth of work been carried out inside. God would first change your heart and this internal change has its external manifestations.
IT’S INFLUENCE: The effect of the Kingdom of God will be widespread and across-the-board. The yeast works until it affects every part of the bread until the bread increases in size, shape and volume. This earth would be filled with the knowledge of God’s Word as the waters cover the sea. The Kingdom of God, has influenced, it is still influencing and will forever influence this planet earth forever and ever.
SLOW BUT STEADY: The effect of yeast on bread is quite invisible to the eyes but surely something is happening on the inside. Faith is not about seeing but trusting in the fact that the one trusted will do what they have been contracted to do at any cost without an evidential witness. Yeast does its job slowly, secretly and silently but its effect cannot be denied when the bread is done. This is in similitude with the ministry of the Holy Spirit working the Grace of God in the life of the Believer.
IT TRANSFORMS: The natural effect of yeast is to make the bread grow. It changes the unleavened bread to leaven bread. It completely changes the dough it comes in contact with. When a believer decides to passionately desire the Word of God and finally gets the understanding of the Word, there would be a total transformation in that life as that life begins to be opened up to the various dimensions of the will of the Father. This transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit and not the believer. The yeast affects every part of the bread and no part of it is left out. As we believers reflect the glory of God, scriptures encourage that we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another higher level of glory, which is by the Spirit of God.
NEEDS HEAT: When the yeast is added to the bread, heat is needed so that the yeast can carry out its work. As believers, trials, persecution and afflictions, to mention a few are needed because that’s the heat we need so that the best in us can be revealed. Without the yeast, the dough remains what it is with no change. Apostle Paul declared that we are children of God when we identify with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Now that we are children, we become the heirs of God by the same identification (not what we do) and joint heirs of God, when we suffer with Him.
The caveat to becoming the joint heir is when we suffer with Him. This is the HEAT needed by all that God has chosen in accordance with His will; for we know that the present suffering cannot be compared to the glory that would be revealed in us. That NEEDED HEAT is part of the deal for our change of state; from one phase to a better phase.
He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think in accordance with the mighty working of His power in us. No matter where you are, no matter what has happened, no matter what would happen, God will always be at work in your life 24/7, 365 days and all through your life time.
“Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The farmer does not sift his wheat because he dislikes it, but just the opposite; he sifts it because it is precious. And thou, child of God, thy trials and changes, and constant catastrophes, and afflictions, are no proofs of want of affection on the part of the Most High, but the very contrary.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon.