TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, April 10, 2019:
A substance that causes fermentation and expansion of dough or batter; an element that produces an altering or transforming influence; yeast.
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 leavened.”
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Parables were a common form of teaching in Judaism. Parables were a teaching tool used by Jesus. Jesus taught using familiar things to demonstrate a spiritual truth.
In this parable that Jesus taught, most interpretations say that the woman is the harlot church that teaches false doctrine. But there are two interpretations by Bible scholars concerning the leaven.
In some passages of scripture leaven is a symbol of evil so some say that the leaven represents evil that penetrates the Kingdom of God and His church. The second interpretation that is the most used is that the leaven symbolizes the Kingdom of God that penetrates and works silently to transform man and society.
Our concern is not to get into a theological discussion but to relate the message found in this parable to us as believers today. Looking at leaven as the gospel of the kingdom of God, Jesus is saying that it is the responsibility of the church (believers) to preach the gospel so that the power of God’s Word can penetrate the hearts of individuals with the gospel until the whole person and all of society is transformed.
Leaven is what makes bread soft and pliable and no longer hard. The leaven of the gospel penetrates the heart of a man and softens the hardness of his heart.
Leaven secondly makes bread moist and no longer dry. The leaven of the gospel penetrates the dryness of a man’s heart and life. Thirdly, leaven makes bread satisfying and no longer unfulfilling like dry, hard bread. The leaven of the gospel transforms the dissatisfied life with no purpose, into one with meaning and significance.
And finally, leaven makes bread nourishing. The leaven of the gospel nourishes our faith. The growth of our faith will prepare us and inspire us to feed others with the leaven of the gospel.
Jesus seemed to want believers to understand how the Gospel penetrates to the heart and soul of the unbeliever by comparing it to leaven. Leaven works quietly and silently until it permeates the whole batch of dough. The Gospel, like leaven, works silently and quietly in the soul of those who receive it causing the dough to grow. The Gospel works slowly and gradually in the believer causing him or her to grow spiritually. Just as leaven changes the quality of the dough and not the substance, the Gospel leaves a new believer unchanged on the outside, but on the inside, he is a changed person.
The gospel teaches that we are to put off our old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds and to put on the true righteousness and holiness. II Corinthians 4:22-23.
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Timothy 4:2.
Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.
Help me to be diligent in feeding on Your Word so the leaven of the Gospel will penetrate the hardness of my heart and make me pliable in Your hands. Help me to put off the old self and to put on the new self so that I can grow to be more Christ-like in the way I live.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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