During our monthly house church this last Sunday, I was pondering the power of yeast. Ryan was sharing out of Mark 8 where Jesus warned his disciples about the yeast, or leaven, of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. Basically, a small amount of yeast can leaven an entire loaf of bread, just a touch can infect a much larger matter.
The yeast of Herod is that violent, overpowering political influence. You ever notice how someone will read one little online article or hear one thing in the news (that may or may not be accurate) and receive it into their psyche. All of a sudden they’re on a warpath with their political cause of choice and are taking out anyone and everyone that stands in their path? That’s the yeast of Herod. A small influence that has absolutely taken someone over and is now negatively affecting them and others around them. The political yeast of Herod doesn’t line up with one particular ideology either, those on the left and the right, however liberal or conservative, often allow this yeast in their lives.
The yeast of the pharisees is the overbearing, self-righteous religious influence. Jesus came into conflict with the religious elite more than any other group during his ministry. They used religion as means of oppressing others and maintaining their own status in society. For them, it wasn’t about honoring and loving God through His own directives in the Torah, it was about keeping their thumb on everyone else. In recent weeks, we’ve heard controversies from famous pastors that have established a level of control and influence, yet have clearly strayed from God’s word about truth, love and humility. You can be sure that the yeast of the Pharisees has had something to do with that.
As these things were running through my head concerning Jesus’ warning in Mark 8, I couldn’t help but think about Jesus words in Matthew 13:33 where He says that the Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast which a woman takes and hides in the meal until the whole thing becomes leavened.
So yeast isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Small things can make a big difference a lot of the time. We open ourselves to all sorts of yeast in our lives, those small influences that change the entire meal for us. We often have our passions become a bit misdirected because of this. It doesn’t have to be the political tirades or the religious power plays (though it often is). It can be the things that are good, but have taken precedence over the real important things, or over the most important thing.
Get the good yeast going in your life. The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, just a small amount can profoundly change your entire life. Once your life is changed by the Kingdom of Heaven, there’s no telling the amount of good that’s going to flow through you from God.
Our ministry is on the precipice of expansion. We have five kids right now, but after we return from our upcoming baby furlough we’ll be adding more children into families. Melissa and I were discussing how that’s going to play out and I’d love for it to spread like wildfire if we can handle it, but if we just add one or two kids up front, I’m totally good with that. The reason is because one is a lot of people to receive the Kingdom of God. God does a whole lot through one person that is received by Him.
Just that small amount of one child among three million others in Tanzania, has the potential to do an immeasurable amount of good by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the kind of yeast, however small, I want to be influencing that child, that family and this nation.
What’s influencing you? What kind of yeast are you allowing in your life? The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, just a small amount will take over everything.