Matthew 13:33 - The Parable of the Yeast.

Mat.13:33; The Parable of the Yeast.

Mat 13:33 (NIV) The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman 
took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all 
through the dough.  

Whereas the parable of the mustard seed traces the progress of 
the Gospel in the world, the parable of the leaven shows the 
progress of the kingdom in the heart and life of a believer.  It speaks 
of the transformation of life from a small beginning in grace and 
the effect of the Gospel on the total person.  Some have maintained 
that the New Testament references to leaven always symbolize evil, 
and therefore the parable describes the church being infiltrated and 
pervaded by corruption and false doctrine. The immediate context 
militates against the view that leaven is always a symbol of evil.  Jesus 
indeed warned His disciples to "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees 
and the Sadducees" (Mat.16:6).  But He also used leaven to describe 
the growth of His kingdom as in the present instance.  The effect of 
the leaven may be understood in two ways: As a process in general 
history, leaven speaks of the silent yet pervasive and irresistible 
working of the Gospel.  But just as leaven changes bread dough in an 
observable way, so the parable also portrays the real and radical 
transformation of individual lives through the Gospel.  [Daily Devotional 

The preaching of the gospel works like leaven in the hearts of 
those who receive it. The leaven works certainly, so does the word, 
yet gradually. It works silently, and without being seen, Mark 
4:26-29, yet strongly; without noise, for so is the way of the Spirit, 
but without fail. Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by 
preaching the gospel, hid a handful of leaven in the great mass of 
mankind. It was made powerful by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, who 
works, and none can hinder. Thus it is in the heart. When the gospel 
comes into the soul, it works a thorough change; it spreads itself 
into all the powers and faculties of the soul, and alters the 
property even of the members of the body, Romans 6:13. From these 
parables we are taught to expect a gradual progress; therefore let us 
inquire, Are we growing in grace? and in holy principles and habits? 
[Matthew Henry Commentary] 

In the Saviour's parable, leaven is used to represent the 
kingdom of heaven. It illustrates the quickening, assimilating power of 
the grace of God.  
None are so vile, none have fallen so low, as to be beyond the 
working of this power. In all who will submit themselves to the Holy 
Spirit a new principle of life is to be implanted; the lost image of 
God is to be restored in humanity.  
But man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He 
possesses no power by which this change can be effected. The 
leaven--something wholly from without--must be put into the meal before the 
desired change can be wrought in it. So the grace of God must be 
received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. 
All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of 
making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy 
must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. 
All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to 
the working of this power........ 
The leaven hidden in the flour works invisibly to bring the 
whole mass under its leavening process; so the leaven of truth works 
secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural 
inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new 
motives, are implanted. A new standard of character is set up--the life 
of Christ. The mind is changed; the faculties are roused to action 
in new lines. Man is not endowed with new faculties, but the 
faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience is awakened. We are 
endowed with traits of character that enable us to do service for God.  
"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. 
10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of 
character. Christ prayed, "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is 
truth." John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the 
heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to 
convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love 
to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own 
image. Then God can use us to do His will...... 
Received into the heart, the leaven of truth will regulate the 
desires, purify the thoughts, and sweeten the disposition. It quickens 
the faculties of the mind and the energies of the soul. It enlarges 
the capacity for feeling, for loving...... 
The leaven of truth works a change in the whole man, making the 
coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the 
impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Through its 
life-giving power it brings all there is of mind and soul and strength into 
harmony with the divine life. Man with his human nature becomes a 
partaker of divinity.  COL95-102