The Smallest Ingredient has the Greatest Effect

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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.”


This parable of our Lord was given to encourage us as to the power of the gospel.  I remember as a child watching my mom make bread. While I don’t remember all of the ingredients I specifically remember her small yeast packets that she would add to the other ingredients and then I remember watching the bread rise in the pan before she baked it.  It did not take much yeast to effect the entire loaf.  There have been times that bread made not rise and either the yeast was bad or the yeast was forgotten in the mix.  In a very short parable, Jesus uses this simple example to explain how the gospel works.


We live in a big world with billions of people. How much of the gospel does it take for the entire world to be affected?  According to Jesus, just a little bit of gospel seed can affect a great amount of people.  There were 120 in the upper room, only 120.  Sometime later, a mob in Thessalonica accused this small group of turning the world upside down!  (Acts 17:6) When people are filled with the Holy Spirit and the gospel, this good news of salvation spreads throughout the culture like yeast spreads through a loaf of bread. We can testify to one person in a family coming to Christ and before long the entire family is saved by God’s grace.  My mother-in-law heard the gospel as a young teenager, today her entire family of children, grand-children, and great grand-children know the Lord and continue spreading the gospel.


Consider this, yeast is the smallest ingredient in the mix and we often feel like the smallest influence in the room.  But the power is not in us – it is in the gospel. The yeast only needs to be released into the dough for it to be effective. We only need to release the gospel for it to bring men and women under conviction of their sin and their need of the Savior.  The yeast does its work all by itself and so does the gospel; it just needs to be released.  Paul asked in Romans 10 how people could be saved if they never heard and concluded that they could not.  It is therefore our responsibility to release the yeast, the gospel message, into the culture; it is God’s job to make it work.


When we get to heaven we will understand this parable better.  There will be people who will thank us for our witness but we will have no recollection of ever telling them. Simply because we released the gospel to someone they released it to someone else and the spread of the gospel from our efforts won’t be fully known until eternity. The travelling pastor who preached in several rural churches in West Virginia, has no idea how far the yeast he planted in young Jean Harris went. It is still spreading.


In a day of continual bad news, what a joy to hear of the rescue of the twelve boys and their coach from a Thailand cave.  The testimony of this rescue is that at the core of who we are, we are lovers of life. This is a testimony of how we are made in the image of God.  Satan could care less if these boys lived or died in that cave. Satan is the destroyer. In the image of God is the love of life for He is the creator and sustainer of all life.  I thank God for putting into mankind a love for life and a determination to save life.  Part of this story is the farmers whose rice fields were flooded to the destruction of their crops while salt water was pumped out of the cave.  The farmer said that the lives of these boys were of greater value than his crop. Take note today that all of us, made in God’s image, are lovers of the life. Our talents and abilities are to ultimately be used to save lives for God’s glory and for His kingdom.  May these rescued boys one day hear the gospel of God and know that their salvation was from Him.


Please pray for Edna and her pained back.  They need great medical wisdom to find God’s plan for her healing.


Have a great day in the Lord,

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