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The Parable of The Leaven

(Matthew 13:33)

This is a teaching taken from Matthew 13:33.

Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

The best understanding I have of leaven is that it is like mixing up some yeast and flour. Leaven is actually highly fermented sour dough. You mix it into the dough and give it enough time to fully ferment and expand. Some kind of gas reaction takes place to the point where you can fold the mixture to make bread, cakes and buns. Therefore leaven is actually like yeast.

How is the Kingdom of Heaven like that? How is it that you can get a little bit of yeast and make something very substantial, like a whole loaf of bread?

Well, one little baby was born in Bethlehem; one special Prophet; one special Man in the whole of the history of the world. Yet He was born in a simple stable: there was no vacancy at the Inn for His parents at that time. This Man lived as an ordinary person until the age of thirty and then He began His powerful and supernatural ministry for three years. During that time, He seriously threatened the Jewish faith and the leadership of Israel. He was then nailed to a cross to die. Three days later He rose from the dead and the whole world was changed!

The Jews believed that when a person died, his spirit hovered around for three days before it departed. They believed that a person could possibly come back to life in the first three days, because his spirit was still there. If the person’s spirit was destined to Hell, it would be sent there on the fourth day; and if it was destined to go to Paradise and wait for the resurrection of the dead, it would be sent there on the fourth day.

When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He delayed going to him for another two days. Why did he do that? Well, he knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He had raised someone from the dead before. Jesus purposely delayed for one reason: Lazarus would be raised on the day when his spirit was supposed to be gone forever and no way, according to the Jewish faith, could his spirit be raised again. In doing so, Jesus just totally blew their beliefs about death away. Jesus did something impossible for their faith to comprehend! It was that day, that they discussed that it was better that this man should die, than the Jewish faith be lost. Jesus was a little bit of leaven in this world and He actually turned the whole world right side up.

It has been reported that about two billion people in the world confess Christianity as their faith. I’m not sure how many of them are passionate Christians, but the leading faith in the world is Christianity at the moment, although the Muslim faith is growing at an alarming rate. Our growth population in terms of natural birth is very small, compared to the birth rate in the Muslim world. Hence the sudden rise in their faith. So, what is the application of this parable for you and me? What can we learn from this?

The parable means that even a little bit of Christ in us can make a big change! The flour is no good just as flour: it can’t be made into bread without yeast. What makes the bread is the chemical reaction of the added yeast. Jesus says that we are to be the “salt” of the earth. We are to preserve the earth from decay and add God’s flavor to our area of influence. Jesus also said we are to be the “light on the hill.” Therefore, our lives should be burning bright.

In this parable, Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of God is like a woman who first hid a bit of leaven and three measures of meal and it all became leavened. This leaven permeated through the dough and then it could be made into bread, the staple of our lives. When Jesus Christ permeates your life, He can make an enormous change in your home, workplace or school.

You could be moving in the gift of prophecy or dream interpretation and everyone could be coming to you to get directions for life and solutions to their problems. You could be giving them supernatural answers from God. You could give people wise counsel. You could make such a tremendous difference in this world just with the gift of prophecy. Prophecy is just one of the nine spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit can give to a spirit-filled believer. There are also other gifts that Jesus and The Father can give a believer. Jesus is saying that even though you are just one person, you can affect every person in your area of influence.

There was a speaker going through the United Kingdom. He shared a story about meeting a guy who was handing out Gospel tracts in George Street, Sydney Australia and saying, “Do you want to hear about Jesus? Do you want to hear about Jesus?” The speaker shared about how his life was changed because of an encounter with this passionate Christian. He had become a believer because he had been blessed by a total stranger who loved Jesus. Someone at the meeting stood up and said, “I’ve met that guy, his simple tract led me to the Lord.” And wherever this guy went around the world, he would share his story and many people would come forward and say that a man in George Street Sydney was the reason they had become a Christian.

One of those affected by this humble man handing out tracts was a Chaplain on an army base. He was the head Chaplain over fifteen hundred soldiers and later he planted hundreds of churches. Even leaders of countries had been touched by this one man.

Now, this faithful worker of God, handing out his little tracts had no idea that he had affected thousands of people. No one came back to him to share their testimony. One day this preacher came to Sydney, chased down the now elderly man and told him. You can imagine his joy and the tears that were shed as he was told about all the people who had been blessed simply because he had obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit. These simple Gospel tracts had shared the sacrificial love of the Father, in sending His Own Son to die in our place. This elderly man had been a “little bit of leaven,” that had affected countless numbers of people with his three hour a day ministry.

There is one lady I personally know, who went to the spiritual outpouring at Toronto—the Toronto blessing—and she became so anointed by the Holy Spirit that night that she had to be literally carried out of the meeting, because her legs wouldn’t work. She and her husband, had been missionaries in Mozambique for many years and had not seen much success or growth in the Kingdom, but after that blessed time on the floor at Toronto, they have since planted ten thousand churches in Mozambique and the surrounding nations. They have taken up to ten thousand orphans off the streets. They are making a massive impact. Every person she lays hands on is healed from diseases. The deaf suddenly can hear again. Blind eyes have been opened, cripple people have been made to walk and a hundred people have been raised from the dead.

She is just one person who walks with God! Heidi Baker is just another bit of leaven that is having a massive effect in the world. You can be one of those people, if you simply believe the word of God and have a humble seeking heart for the things of God.

See, this parable is about you. You are just one person. You may consider yourself as being insignificant. But with Christ in you, you can make a big difference: you could even change your own environment, your state or your country.

Come on! You can do it. So many people are going to change this world as prophesied. These are the last-day workers in the parable of the landowner, who paid people a denarius for just one hour of work. This parable tells about the people who are going to come from nowhere and are going to shake this world. People who are relatively unknown, are going to be major players in the “last-days” revival. God may call you!

I have healed people three times in my life. I do not have much faith for healing, but each time Jesus said, “Do something.” I have done it and people have been healed. God used me to heal a lady who had a migraine, day and night, for seven years and you know what I did to heal her? I just wept. I just wept to Jesus and said, “Jesus, please take that away from her.” I just broke down and wept. I wrote her an email and I said I have prayed that the pain would decrease. She said that when she opened the email, the presence of God dropped on her so powerfully and her migraine disappeared. It has been years and she has never had another migraine since! I didn’t have the faith to heal someone but I had the compassion to weep and beg Jesus to heal her for I knew in my heart that He had heard my cry.

It can be the same with you. You too can do wonderful things. Do not let this book be just another book that you read and say, “That was nice.” Let it speak to you and move you into doing something great for God’s kingdom.



To read more about Matthew Robert Payne or to know how to book him to speak at your church click on my name Matthew Robert Payne