Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Powerof the Kingdom is Great, Part 1

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:  The rest of the week we will look at two lessons we learn from this parable.  Today we will start with the first lesson and finish it tomorrow and that lesson is the power of the kingdom is great.  This lesson is similar to the parable of the Mustard Seed.  In this parable the flour is the world and the leaven is the kingdom.   The leaven is planted right in the middle of the world.  The kingdom starts to foment in the world.  As the kingdom bubbles and spurs with the proclamation of the gospel, the lost world begins to recognize their sinfulness.  To understand why I believe this to be the truth of this parable, we need to understand the structure of the parables.  Jesus spoke the first six parables in couplets.  The first two spoke about the nature of the kingdom.  The next two speak about the power of the kingdom.  And starting next week we are going to start looking at the next two parables which speak about the appropriation of the kingdom.  Some people think the leaven means evil and that what the parable is teaching is evil is going to be in the kingdom.  There are a couple of problems with this thought.  First, it doesn't fit the layout of the parables as I have just described them, because we've already dealt with the evil in the world in the first two parables.  Second, the parable states, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven."  I just don’t believe that heaven is evil; therefore, I believe the leaven refers to good.  What, then, is the major argument of those who make leaven to be evil in this parable?  They say that leaven everywhere else in the New Testament always refers to evil, therefore, here there must be consistency.  So for example in Luke 12:1 Jesus says, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy."  The leaven there is not so much the hypocrisy itself as the influence that it has.  You see, leaven is only an analogy that is good when applied to a permeating influence.  The point of using the leaven to describe the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was that the hypocrisy of the Pharisees affects other people the same way leaven effects bread.  The leaven is not an illustration of sin, it is an illustration of permeation and that is very important distinction.  Tomorrow we will conclude this first lesson from the parable. 

  1. Are you amazed that the Father has “hid” you in the world to serve Him?
  2. Are you letting your words and deeds permeate the world for Jesus?
Prayer: Father, open my heat as I study these parables.  Let them encourage me to be more faithful n my proclamation of the gospel.  Amen.

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