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Parable of the Yeast Life Lessons for Today

The Parable of the Yeast (Parable of the Leaven)

The Parable of the Yeast is also known as the Parable of the Leaven and is included in two Gospels in the Bible. The Books of Luke (Luke 13 20-21) and Matthew (Matthew 13 33) include this short parable alongside the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

The parables of the Yeast and the Mustard Seed are similar in that they both describe the way faith grows from a tiny speck into something amazing and beautiful. The specific characteristics of how yeast works are what differentiates the Parable of the Yeast, as described below.

Parable of the Yeast or Parable of the Leaven Life Lessons cover image of dough

The Parable of the Yeast (Luke 13 20-21)

The Parable of the Yeast is found in Luke 13:20-21 and Matthew 13:33. It is one of the shortest parables at only one or two sentences.

20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

The Parable of the Yeast Summary

The Parable of the Yeast summary is that as a small amount of yeast is mixed into a large amount of flour, the yeast is able to cause a gradual, unnoticeable growth of the dough. So does the Spirit of God work within us.

The Parable of the Yeast Moral Lesson

The Parable of the Yeast doesn’t have a moral lesson specifically. The lesson of the Parable of the Yeast uses the analogy of yeast to describe the way in which God’s Spirit works within us, changing us for His good. 

What is the main point of the Parable of the Yeast?

The main point of the Parable of the Yeast is that just as a small amount of yeast mixed into flour causes the dough to rise gradually and unnoticed until a fluffy mound is formed, is the way the Spirit of God works within us. He slowly seeps into every level of our being, growing and spreading without being noticed, until we are changed at our core into children of God.

The Parable of the Yeast Meaning and Reflection

Even a one-sentence Parable, like the Parable of the Leaven, gives us several points for reflection in our daily lives.

1. Something tiny becomes large and mighty

Our faith and our commitment as Christians usually don’t happen like a lightning strike. More often, it begins with a tiny speck that we probably wouldn’t even notice, like reading a Bible verse, a prayer cried out in pain, or a kindness shown by a stranger. These little pieces seep into our being and change us over time until we finally realize God’s Spirit has taken hold of us and changed our very being.

2. We don’t notice the growth until – BOOM!

The way yeast helps dough rise is nearly imperceptible, similar to watching grass grow. When we’re actively working on our growth as Christians, we may not always recognize the growth we’re making until we look backward and see how far we’ve come in our journey. Give yourself the grace to grow slowly and steadily toward strong faith. 

3. Tiny doesn’t mean weak

God’s Word may seem like a small dose that we feed souls, but don’t underestimate the power of His Word. His message works itself into our hearts gradually and silently but has great power and strength to change us completely.

4. Spread yeast into the world 

The Apostles were the first people who Jesus commissioned to spread His message of repentance and salvation into the world. So, too, we are called to spread this yeast into our own circle of influence today. In each tiny way that we sprinkle the Good News to our family, neighbors, and community, we bring about a gradual, unstoppable change for God’s Kingdom. Don’t underestimate simple acts.

5. The Gospel is unstoppable

When we read and reflect on God’s Word, it changes us thoroughly. Just as there is no way to remove the yeast once it has been mixed into the dough, once we have received God in our hearts, He becomes a part of our existence that cannot be undone. Our growth as Christians has no bounds and it is not something anyone can take away from us or dampen. Our greatest growth will come when we seek Him with all our hearts.

6. Spiritual growth is a gradual process 

Humans are impatient. We want change and we want it now! As we walk through our Christian journey, the most important aspect is not how quickly we’re moving, but that we’re moving in the right direction. We should always be seeking a deeper relationship with God, discerning His will for our lives and following as best we can. Continual small and imperceptible steps will get us where we need to be. Tiny steps, like a few specks of yeast, can lead to great things.

Divine Wisdom: Life Lessons from the Parables of Jesus Devotional Bible Study by Shirley Alarie front cover of book

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Why is Yeast like the Kingdom of God?

Yeast is like the Kingdom of God because it takes only a small amount of yeast to infiltrate flour and make it rise imperceptibly until it’s completely changed into a plump raised mound of dough. In the same way, a small amount of God’s Spirit within us changes us imperceptibly and gradually until we have become completely changed into the person He intended us to be.

The Parable of the Leaven Explained

The Parable of the Leaven is also known as the Parable of the Yeast. Its meaning and message for our lives today may be found in this article, starting HERE.

Parable of the Yeast Commentary

Find the Parable of the Yeast (Parable of the Leaven) Commentary at Bible Study Tools.com. This link will lead you to the free Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, but you can find other Biblical commentaries HERE. They include free and paid versions. I have referred to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary for this post.

This post may contain affiliate links. This is my full disclosure.

More Parables!

Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others (listed below), these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings. More parable lessons are underway. See them all HERE!

Do you love journaling? Does writing down your personal reflections help you process your thoughts more fully? Perhaps these Christian writing journals will be helpful as you reflect on the life lessons of the parables.

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Photo by Skyler Ewing.

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2 thoughts on “Parable of the Yeast Life Lessons for Today”

  1. Thank you for providing this explanation. I have taught this Godly Play lesson to pre-schoolers and this is the first time I understood the real meaning behind the story.

    1. Janet, thanks so much for the feedback. I write according to the discernment I get from God (along with Bible commentaries) and I’m so thankful it enhanced your understanding. <3

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