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Mid-Week Reflection

March 20, 2019

What Kind of Yeast Are You? 

Yeast can be a good thing. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable using yeast as an illustration of the Kingdom of Heaven. The yeast mixed in with the flour makes it all leavened. I certainly enjoy the bread that is produced.
J.D. Watts in his “Seedbed Daily Text” reads that “Yeast is like an almost invisible dust… It has an inordinate influence on anything it touches.” As such, yeast works ask a change agent. When yeast is put into dough, it causes the dough to rise. If you put yeast into crushed grapes, it causes fermentation to turn them into wine.

J.D. Watts writes about Jesus’ comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven to yeast; “It is almost invisible to the human eye and yet when it gets mixed into the world, it creates a highly visible effect. In this case, a small bit of yeast is worked into a massive amount of dough which will lead to an abundance of bread. How does something so small go so far and do so much? That’s the point.” (J.D. Watts, “Seedbed Daily Text”, 3/19/19)

Yeast acts as a change agent. In the dough, it changes the dough into something even better.  That is the way we are to be. We are to be change agents that change the world around us into something better.

On another occasion, Jesus uses yeast in connection with the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. In Luke 12, Jesus said, “Beware of yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1; NRSV)   In their case, they were not being good change agents. Their failure to allow God to change them led them to be yeast that was not producing good effects in the lives of others.

 J.D. Watts made this application:

  • Yeast is a type of change agent. The question? “Is this good change or bad change?” Bottom line: people are like yeast. As change agents, will we be the change with the Kingdom of God or with hypocrisy? For better or for worse, a few people can have a massive impact on an entire community. We all know this is true in our experience of others, but we rarely believe it could be true of ourselves.

  • Hypocrisy is maintaining an outward appearance that masks over the inward reality. So if hypocrisy is the mark of the Pharisees, what is the defining characteristic of the Kingdom of God? How about authenticity?

  • Keeping it real (and short) let’s ask ourselves the question: Which kind of yeast am I? What kind of change am I affecting in the people around me?

  • And let’s be reminded—Jesus issued this stern warning, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees,” to his closest disciples. (J.D. Watts, “Seedbed Daily Text”, 3/19/19)

 It’s an important question: What kind of yeast am I? Am I an influence that points people toward Jesus, even more, introduces people to Jesus? Our daily actions and attitude are an influence upon someone. Do they point people to Jesus? Do others see Jesus in you?      
   ---  Rudy   

​​Your responses to these Reflections are always welcomed.  You can ​email me at <rguess@tuscumbiaumc.org>.