Yeast and the Kingdom of Heaven

A new grace-zinging article from my son, Jonathan McNeely! – Jim McNeely

For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.
Exodus 12:15-20 NLT

Moses repeats himself and unbelievable amount in this section, more-so than almost any other commandment he gives to the people he’s speaking to on their quest to Mount Sinai. This passage is just riddled with the exclusion of yeast. Unleavened bread and not using yeast must be pretty important to these guys. They must be thinking “Oy Vey! I better not use any yeast. I’m not even going to associate with yeast or anyone using yeast or even think about YEAST.” It seems so small, and yet this is one of the pillars of foundation for the Mosaic law.

Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.
Matthew 13:33 NLT

He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.
Luke 13:20-21 NLT

Jesus comes along and tells His closest followers, his DISCIPLES, that the Kingdom of Heaven is like YEAST. Further, He says that it permeates EVERYTHING. It permeates the dough, but Jesus, I believe, wanted this to dig deeper. He wanted it to permeate time, and definitely, if the Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is like yeast, then the Kingdom of Heaven/yeast would definitely be found during the Celebration/Festival of Unleavened Bread during January, as well as, I don’t know, ETERNALLY.

In a recent conversation with one of my great friends, Benny Halbert, he brought up Nicodemus. It’s incredible that the human mind is so literal that it is hard to understand Jesus at times. So Jesus, being all-knowing, continually uses word-pictures (parables) to bring issues into light for these men. Jesus almost never gives a cut-and-dry, black-and-white answer, because the minds of His disciples would completely miss the mark.

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
John 3:4 NLT

“Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”
Matthew 16:11 NLT

Jesus, in this manner, is talking about PRIDE. Yeast doesn’t matter! He, also, repeatedly tells his closest friends, “Ye of little faith!”. It is by FAITH ALONE, that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The removal of our pride and good works and self-righteousness is the only way to realize the mind-blowing truth: “… I’m perfectly Loved. One way, perfect, unfailing, incomprehensible, complete, amazing Love is flying at me at 1 million miles a second all day, every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every year of my whole life.”

BELIEF must permeate our whole life, and belief alone. Belief that you are, right now, holy and blameless before the Lord because all wrath, all death, and all condemnation was unleashed in the separation of God from His beloved and perfect Son during the crucifixion. God will never define by your sin again! He can Love you truly at last! We can just bask in the belief that every single thing that has ever happened or will happen is God’s perfect providence and love in our lives.

“In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”
1 John 4:10 AMP

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