1. The parable in which Jesus painted a picture about bread making and the Kingdom of Heaven

Lord Jesus in the scriptures revealed a very interesting comparison between the Kingdom of God and bread making. He told the parable of a woman who took leaven or yeast and hid it in three measures of meal until the flour was leavened. The leaven was hidden in three measures of meal:

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven (zymē/G2219), which a woman took, and hid (egkryptō/G1470) in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened (zymoō/G2220) – Matthew 13: 33.

And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven (zymē/G2219), which a woman took and hid (egkryptō/G1470)  in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (zymoō/G2220)  – Luke 13: 20 – 21.

2. The meal with which the bread was made

Meal (H7058) was referred to four times in the Old Testament. One of these references was in relation to barley meal. In one other text, we learn that meal was made from a grain which was ground into flour.  The meal in bible times retained all of the constituents of the original seed and was not demineralized or changed in any way except by grinding.

3. The leaven that raised the meal

Leaven in bible times consisted of  “a lump of old dough in a high state of fermentation, which was mixed into the mass of dough prepared for baking” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary).  Before the bread was baked, another small portion was removed from the batch to be used the next day. Women repeated this process in order to maintain continuous and future bread production since the fermentation process completed its process in less than 48 hours (Van Winkle, nd).

The literature shows that the leaven that is eaten can either be beneficial or harmful. Langre (nd), wrote about the importance and benefits of bread that is naturally leavened with a lump of old dough in comparison to commercial yeast:

a. Wild yeast, or multi-micro flora are natural air-borne ferments that are generated or seeded in dough left exposed to a clean and cool atmosphere under specific conditions of moisture and temperature.

b. Various beneficial types of lactic bacteria are generated in this environment. These harmless bacteria consume little energy and multiply quite slowly. The growth of these bacteria duplicates the cycle of human breathing and that of wheat embryo germination. 

As I read this statement, I interpreted it to mean that  the body takes in healthy substances and excretes harmful ones when naturally fermented bread is eaten.

c. The rising of the dough corresponds to an oxidation (like wheat germ growth), followed by a reduction (during the baking of the loaf) identical to the development of the miniature sprout of wheat. Thus, naturally leavened bread faithfully follows God’s laws of the universe and is therefore healthier.

d. Natural leaven bread, because of its inherent beneficial ferments, slowly recreates the population of friendly lactobacillus digestive bacteria in the absorption tract. The end result is a recovery of digestion and proper elimination by the effective action of friendly bacteria.

e. Wild yeast also naturally enriches the bread, due to an additional development of nutrients by the beneficial enzymes and ferments.

 f. As it ages, naturally leavened bread will retain its moisture and keep well without refrigeration

4. Leaven can harm or help you spiritually

The kind of leaven is important because Jesus also used the picture of leaven to warn the disciples to beware of the corrupt and hypocritical doctrine or teachings of the religious teachers of the era. Their leaven was made with an old fermenting bread make the disciples spiritually sick  as it increased in size (Matthew 16: 6, 11 & 12). 

Apostle Paul also used the picture of  leaven to refer to the disastrous influence and impact of  unconfessed sin in the body of Christ

In this scenario, the Corinthian church had  a member who had committed incest with his father’s wife. Rather than reproving and correcting the brother, the believers had allowed him to continue in sin. Apostle Paul warned them of the danger of the sin spreading and infecting the lump or the church, referred to the sin as the “leaven of malice and wickedness.” He exhorted the brethren to undergo a purge by removing the brother from their midst (1 Corinthians 1, 2, 6 – 8).

The leaven or doctrine of the Kingdom of God is beneficial for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health, ferments rapidly in the spirit, is not corrupt and will produce believers like God..

4. The woman hid the leaven in three measures of meal

According to Jesus, the woman hid (egkryptō/G1470) the leaven “in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened” (zymoō/G2220).  Egkryptō comes from two root words – en and kryptō. The usage of  En in scripture seems to show that the woman placed the leaven in a strategic position in the meal from which it could spread, maybe in a hollow area in the center:

  • Mary was “found with child G1722 of the Holy Ghost” – Matthew 1: 18. We understand this to mean that she conceived in the womb which is a hollow, protective place located in the pelvic cavity.
  • … he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in G1722 a ship with Zebedee their father – Matthew 4: 21.

Kryptō is used in scriptures to mean , things kept hid, secret. However, some things cannot be kept hidden, like the leaven which exerts its effects silently, but demonstrates its power in its results.

In the same way, the Kingdom of God may appear to be hidden, but its power is in its rapid expansion (like the leaven which ferments in 48 hours). The Kingdom of God, like leaven, rapidly expands in volume, signifying the numbers who would be added from all nations, tribes and languages.

For example:

  • ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid/KryptōG2928
  • I will utter things which have been kept secret G2928 from the foundation of the world – Matthew 13: 35.

Blessings, peace, angelic protection, favor on you!


Naturally Leavened Bread