How We Can Experience God’s Kingdom Each DayDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
[Jesus] also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
In yesterday’s reflection, we considered a parable of Jesus in which he likened the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. The point of this parable was that the tiny mustard seed would one day grow to become an impressive tree. Thus, in the ministry of Jesus, the kingdom of God was truly present, though relatively small. In time, it would grow to its full stature.
Jesus followed the parable of the mustard seed with a similar illustration. The kingdom of God is also “like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough” (13:21). Here Jesus borrows a common experience from the household. If a woman wished to make leavened bread (bread as we know it, with pockets of air that make it light and soft), she would put yeast (a fungus) or leaven (a lump of dough with yeast in it) into the prepared bread dough. In time, even a little bit of yeast would permeate the whole amount of dough, causing it to rise.
As in the case of the mustard seed, Jesus contrasts the smallness of the kingdom of God, pictured as yeast, with the greatness of its ultimate impact. But in this parable there is an added dimension. The yeast not only grew from small to great, but also “permeated every part of the dough.” The kingdom of God, it appears, doesn’t just get bigger over time. It also spreads through the whole world, ultimately transforming everything.
You and I are part of God’s royal yeast. This means we have the opportunity and responsibility to live under God’s reign in our lives, no matter where we are. Through us, the kingdom begins to permeate the world, leavening workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, city councils, service clubs, families, and churches. Where we find hate, we bring the love of God. Where we see injustice, we champion God’s justice. Where there is conflict, we seek to be channels of God’s peace.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: So, how “yeasty” are you? Can you think of ways that God’s kingdom is manifested in the world through you? How might the world be just a little different because of your impact?
PRAYER: What an honor, Lord, to be part of your yeast! Thank you for choosing to extend your kingdom in this world through your people, including me.
Help me, Lord, to live under your reign wherever I am. May I demonstrate the values and presence of your kingdom in every facet of my life.
Today, I pray for your people throughout the world, that we will live as yeast. Transform this world through us as we bear witness to you with our words and our actions. Amen.
P.S. from Mark
If you’d like a broader and deeper discussion of the kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus, let me point you to a series on my blog: What Was the Message of Jesus?