Presentation on theme: "The Parable of the Yeast How do we read the New Testament? Matthew 13:33."— Presentation transcript:
The Parable of the Yeast How do we read the New Testament? Matthew 13:33
The Parable of the Yeast He spoke to them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until the whole batch was leavened.
The Parable of the Yeast How is this parable understood by us Christians today? Most Christians see it as a positive image of heaven… With God portrayed as something familiar and comforting… A woman baking bread.
The Parable of the Yeast Take another look: "The Kingdom of heaven..." To Jews living in Palestine in the 1st century, The Roman Empire was the only "kingdom" they knew- it was an oppressive power, its emperor demanded tribute and expected to be worshipped as a god.
The Parable of the Yeast "The Kingdom of heaven..." Failure to do either was seen as treasonous. Any statement Jesus made in favor of a kingdom other than Caesar's would have been seen as treason.
The Parable of the Yeast "...is like yeast..." See Paul in Gal 5:7-12, Also 1 Cor 5:6-8, Also Luke 12:1
The Parable of the Yeast "...is like yeast..." Gal 5:7-12, "A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough." 1 Cor 5:6-8, "Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened." Luke 12:1- "Beware the leaven-that is, hypocrisy- of the Pharisees."
The Parable of the Yeast "...is like yeast..." For Jews, leaven was impure, unclean. To add leaven to bread was to corrupt or pollute it, and leaven often symbolized moral corruption in ancient literature.
The Parable of the Yeast "...is like yeast..." During the Feast of Unleavened Bread (assoc. with Passover) The Jews were to not only not eat leavened bread, but to remove any leavened bread from their household. It symbolized a corrupt Israel, unleavened bread symbolized a "pure Israel."
The Parable of the Yeast "...that a woman took and mixed..." Again, for Jews, women symbolized the impure and unclean, and potentially evil (i.e. Eve). The Greek word krypto actually means "to hide or conceal" rather than to mix.
The Parable of the Yeast "...in three measures of flour..." Three measures (one ephah) is about fifty pounds- enough to feed over one hundred people. Abraham instructs Sara to make cakes from three measures of flour when the Lord appears to them (Gen 18:6).
The Parable of the Yeast "...in three measures of flour..." Gideon prepares an ephah of flour when the Lord appears to him (Judges 6:19). When Hannah dedicates Samuel to the temple, she offers an ephah of flour to Yahweh.
The Parable of the Yeast "...in three measures of flour... In the OT, and ephah of flour represents an epiphany, or revelation of God, at a time when the reader does not always recognize his presence.
The Parable of the Yeast "...until the whole batch was leavened..." This suggests that eventually, the entire kingdom will become defined by that which is "corrupt. - or at least that which the hearer thinks is corrupt.
The Parable of the Yeast Jesus' parable may more properly be stated as follows: God's kingdom is unlike Caesar's...there, you will find the very people that you have been lead to believe are "unclean" and "impure" or shameful.
The Parable of the Yeast In fact, these are the very people that make up the kingdom, and the very people that make it grow- because these are the people most like God himself. Do you want to be part of God's kingdom? Can you, and still be subject to Caesar?
The Parable of the Yeast This parable seems to suggest that preconceived ideas about the kingdom of heaven, and who should be there and who should not, should be overturned-
The Parable of the Yeast it is the outcasts and the impure who are included, not the self-righteous and judgmental. This is consistent with Jesus' overall message, to the sinners and outcasts, tax collectors and prostitutes, the "sick" in need of a physician.