Monday, August 19, 2013

Background Information to The Parable of the Leaven

Scripture: Matthew 13:33

He spoke another parable to them, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened." 

Insights:  Continue to keep in mind that the prophets of the O.T. predicted that the kingdom of God would ultimately come to the earth and have far reaching impacts and influence.  Yet when Jesus came the first time there was no purging of the rebels, no sitting up on a throne, no throwing out the Roman power, no purging of the world, and no peace in the world.  As a result the Jews and the disciples struggled with doubts because they didn't see the fulfillment of their expectations of God’s kingdom.  Jesus did and does have a kingdom, but it is not perceived as a kingdom as men understand kingdoms.  It is first and foremost a kingdom from within the heart.  Paul wrote in Romans 14:17, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking (external), but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (internal).”  You see on another occasion in Luke 17:20, they said to Jesus, in effect, “Well, if You're a King, where's the kingdom?”  Jesus basically replies, “The kingdom of God is within you.  It's in your midst. You just don't perceive it because it isn't discerned by human perception, but I'm a King nonetheless.”  It was for this reason Jesus gave us these parables to describe His kingdom.  The first two parables describe the nature of the kingdom.  We saw through the parable of the soils and the parable of the wheat and weeds that the kingdom would co-exist with both good and evil.  There would be soil that rejects and there would be the true soil.  The second parable told us that the wheat and the weeds ought to grow together until the final judgment, and therefore, we ought not to expect the rebels to be condemned at this time.  The second two parables describe the power of the kingdom.  Jesus was telling us, in essence, in spite of the co-existing natures of the kingdom, in spite of the co-existing of the good and the evil, in spite of the tremendous power of sin, in spite of the power of Satan, in spite of the very massive over sowing of weeds amidst the wheat, in spite of the fact that three of the four soils reject Jesus, the power of the kingdom is very great and the kingdom is going to grow.  From small beginning, great results will occur. 

  1. Do you ever have incorrect assumptions about the nature and character of God?
  2. Are you grateful Jesus desires for you to know Him and provides parables like these to assist in that process?
Prayer: Father, so often I come to the table with preconceived ideas as to how You ought to act.  Forgive me of my presumptuous attitude and help me to trust fully in Your grace.  Amen.

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