Luke 13:20-21 (NASB)
And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
We are quickly approaching the festival of Passover. That time when we search through the house to get rid of all the leaven that we can find. Leaven is often used in Scripture to indicate something negative or even sinful. It is a bit surprising then that, in this parable, we’re told the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven.
This follows the same pattern as the other parables in this series that Yeshua taught on: the mustard seed, the tares in the wheat field and the parable of the sower. In each case, the Word is planted and, when accepted with a hearing and obedient heart, grows to produce an enormous harvest.
We see the same concept here. The three pecks of flour are said to be an enormous amount. Estimates range from 3 pints to a half bushel. Some commentators believe this to be enough dough to make at least 100 loaves of bread. In any case, it is an astonishingly large amount that you wouldn’t expect only one woman to be baking in her oven at home.
And that’s the point. The dough is meant to represent the world, not just at that point in time but through all of history. Inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven come from the foundation of the world to the end of earthly time. Even before the deceiver lied to Adam and Eve, there was an elect chosen by Adonai to populate His domain.
The leaven is compared to the Kingdom. This is the community of the elect who have faith to believe G-d will do what He says. It is the heroes of faith, some of who are listed in Hebrews 11.
And these called to the Kingdom had an amazing impact on the history of the earth since the beginning. Enoch walked with the Creator so closely that he was taken away by Him. Noah was the means of preserving all life on earth. Esther was placed in a position to save the Jews and the lineage of the Messiah. John, the beloved disciple, wrote a compelling Gospel that has changed countless lives.
They were put here for a purpose, to be a witness to a dark world of a Light that would come to save.
Even today we are the elect that walk a godly path, convicting the world with the righteousness of the Messiah that we exhibit.
Like the small piece of leaven intentionally hidden away in the dough, we live quiet, unassuming lives until called on to act by our L-rd.
And we do not disappoint.
We are the means of changing the world by the Ruach haKodesh. We are separated from this world even while hidden in it.
Our purpose is to expand the Kingdom of Heaven. The Holy Spirit uses our gifts to sow more seed or hide more leaven in this world so the effect will multiply. We share the Gospel message of our Messiah who has come to seek out and save the lost.
When the end of time comes we’ll see the results of the Kingdom, how the Word that has been invested in this world has taken hold of people and transformed their lives.
Let us not grow weary in this effort.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who has hidden Your Kingdom in the world that we might know You.