Jesus ended his discussion in the synagogue with another parable.
— Luke 13.20-21 – And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God?
“It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
There are two issues to understand in Jesus’ parable.
First, what did Jesus mean when he referred to the kingdom of God?
Second, how is the kingdom of God like yeast or leaven?
The Kingdom of God
There are 32 references to the kingdom of God in the Gospel of Luke.
(1) Jesus knew his mission was to announce the presence of the kingdom of God.
— Luke 4.43 – But he said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.”
(2) Jesus revealed the nature of the kingdom to people who followed him.
— Luke 8.10 – “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’”
(3) People who followed Jesus and lived in God’s kingdom were expected to join Jesus in proclaiming the kingdom to others.
— Luke 9.2 – He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
(4) When Jesus walked in Israel, his presence placed God’s kingdom in the very midst of people.
— Luke 17.20-21 – Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed;
“Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”
The Greek word that is translated “among” in verse 21 can also be translated “within.”
The King James Version of the Bible translates it “within” and several modern translations use “among” for their rendering of the Greek word.
I think the word can be best understood with both meanings.
— When Jesus was present, the King and the kingdom was “among” the people.
— Today, we can look for the King and his kingdom to be “within” our inner self through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
If we use Dallas Willard’s definition of the kingdom of God as “the effective reach of God’s power,” we can surrender our inner self to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
As we look within to our inner self, the effective reach of God’s power will activate, captivate, and motivate our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
My encouragement to you is to look within to the Lord, who resides through the Spirit in your inner self. Surrender your power to his power and see the difference.
What about Yeast/Leaven?
Leaven is the old term for what we know today as yeast. It is the additive to flour that makes bread dough rise.
Rudy Ross has studied leaven/yeast extensively as it relates to the sacrificial system. Please view our YouTube video for Rudy’s explanation. He has insights that you will greatly appreciate.
Let’s think again about the kingdom of God being “within” us. The King of all kings through the power of the Holy Spirit lives in our inner self.
Like the leaven/yeast in bread, the Spirit is invisible but his work is plain to see.
For example, there have been times when I said something and thought to myself, “Wow! That was good. That didn’t come from me. It was the Holy Spirit speaking through me.”
I remember a few times when I was prompted to visit someone in the hospital. The invisible inner voice of the Spirit led me to be present at the right time and place.
I could list more examples, but you have the picture.
When followers of Jesus are invisibly led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, their impact in the world is like leaven/yeast.
The kingdom of God, which is the effective reach of God’s power, fills the earth.
Let’s look within today for the presence of God’s Spirit, surrender to his work, and see the results.
Rudy Ross has an excellent explanation of how leaven/yeast was used in the sacrificial system. I learn from Rudy’s knowledge and I hope you will too.
The videos can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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