He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
The Kingdom doesn’t just start from what seems small, but it also starts from within—not without. Its work is not from the outside moving inward, but from the inside moving outward. As this woman took the yeast, she didn’t just put the yeast on top of the dough—she put it inside the dough.
True Kingdom transformation never happens from without; it happens from within. When we allow the yeast, this good news of Jesus, to get into our hearts, we will see an inside-out kind of change. As the woman kneads the dough, the yeast that is inside begins to grow. She might not see the change to the dough initially, but the more she kneads, the more she mixes, the more she repeats the same action, the more the yeast that is on the inside of the dough begins to multiply.
This yeast is a living and active fungus; and, similarly, His word is living and active grace. The grace that Jesus has given us is both living and active, so it has the ability to change our lives, but we need to receive it at the center of who we are. If we just apply this grace to the outside of our lives as an excuse to keep sinning, we will never see the true effect of His Kingdom in our lives. But if we receive this grace as the empowerment for new life at the center of our hearts, it will begin to multiply.
And it’s is the repetition or the kneading of this dough that allows the yeast to spread—the repetition of being in the word each day, the kneading of prayer in our lives each day, the turning up to church with expectant hearts week in and week out, the being planted in community and Dinner Parties each week. These things represent the mixing of God’s grace, the kneading of His Kingdom into our lives.
Without kneading the yeast into the dough, the dough will never rise. It’s in the kneadingthat the yeast has the right conditions to multiply. It’s in our fellowship, our worship, our giving, our devotion to prayer, our commitment to serve that provide the right conditions for grace to multiply. If we neglect these things, the yeast of the Kingdom will always remain as something seemingly insignificant. If we don’t put this yeast at the center, it will never have the right conditions to multiply.
Father, we pray that Jesus would be at the center of our lives. We pray that we would mix His grace, your Holy Spirit, into every part of our lives. Help us to be committed, day in and day out, to the simple things that create the right conditions for grace to multiply. We pray your word, which is living and active, would have full effect in our lives, and we would see in each other and in ourselves true transformation. Amen.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey