Jesus told another parable about the Kingdom. He compared its workings to the working of leaven. This parable is similar to the mustard seed parable, but this one speaks to the mysterious spread of the Kingdom and its intensive permeation of everything. Remember how yeast works. It works until the whole lump is saturated and transformed. It changes things. It gives flavor and rise to breads; it sparks fermentation that gives us beer and wine and cheese. It makes life better.
So in the world, we should remember that the Gospel is not just for the private sector. It is for all of culture, all of society, every person in every category. It speaks to everything, for God’s claim is on everything that he has made. He is not content to let any of it fall to darkness. So when the Gospel takes root, it changes people, it changes cultures, it changes institutions and governments and economies, and how the broken and marginalized are treated. It makes life better.
How about our hearts and lives? I don’t know about you, but this one challenges me. The Gospel and the claims of the Kingdom of heaven should permeate every area of my life. It should leaven and transform the way I see life, my goals and priorities, it should change the way I treat people, and how I see my family; it should change the way in which I conduct business and the motivations of my business. It’s a seven-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day thing. And it means that I can’t hold back any part of my life or heart from my Lord. No secret sins that I cherish and maintain. No hostilities and unforgiveness toward another because I draw a strength from the anger and thoughts of revenge. No area that I refuse to yield to Christ – finance and spending habits, sex and marriage, childraising, entertainment, worship, trust, conversation, treatment of other people, and on and on it goes. The Gospel should make me better.
And then as a church, it means our ministry and mission to the world is more than just about conversion of souls. We should be laboring for the flourishing of all people, the peace (Shalom) that brings the blessings and the rest of God into the culture and society in which we dwell – so that justice is served, the poor clothed and fed, and the widows and orphans given provision and shelter. Our efforts – or better yet, our presence – like leaven, should flavor and transform the whole of our culture and community. So, little mustard seeds, small leaven...big changes. Better and better.