The yeast (Lk 13:21-13:21)

“The kingdom of God

Is like yeast

That a woman took.

She mixed it in

With three measures

Of flour,

Until all of it

Was completely leavened.”

 

ὁμοία ἐστὶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἔκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the kingdom of God was like yeast (ὁμοία ἐστὶν ζύμῃ).  A woman took it (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ) and mixed or hid it (ἔκρυψεν) within 3 measures of flour (εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία), until all of it was completely leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  This parable about the yeast in bread can also be found in Matthew, chapter 13:33, indicating a Q source.  Once again, the emphasis with this parable is growth from a small piece of flour to a large leavened loaf of bread, because of the yeast.  Jesus, via Matthew said that the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God, was like yeast (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ).  A woman mixed in 3 measures of flour (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία,) so that the bread was all leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  The kingdom of heaven would be like this leavened bread, always expanding.  The 3 measures of flour would be over 50 pounds, quite a lot of flour.  Do you use yeast in baking?

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The seeds among the thorns choked (Lk 8:14-8:14)

“As for what fell

Among the thorns,

They are the ones

Who hear.

But as they go

On their way,

They are choked

By the cares,

By the riches,

And by the pleasures

Of life.

Their fruit

Does not mature.”

 

τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν καὶ πλούτου καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου πορευόμενοι συνπνίγονται καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that those seeds that fell among the thorns (τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν) were like the ones who hear the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες), but as they go on their way (πορευόμενοι), they are choked or crowded out (συνπνίγονται) by the cares (καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν), the riches (καὶ πλούτου), and the pleasures of life (καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου).  Their fruit does not mature (καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν).  This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:18-19, Matthew, chapter 13:22, and here, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Both Matthew and Mark said that the seeds sown among the thorns were the ones who heard the words of the kingdom, but the cares and anxiety of this present age, as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth, choked or crowded out the words.  Thus, it yielded nothing, because it was barren.  The thorns were the cares about physical riches that choked off the growth of the seeds or the words of the kingdom.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  There had to be follow up or acting out on the word for it to mature into a full mature faith belief in Jesus Christ.  Have the seeds of the word of God matured in you?

Jesus matured (Lk 2:52-2:52)

“Jesus increased

In wisdom

And maturity.

He increased

In grace

Before God

And men.”

 

Καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ καὶ ἡλικίᾳ καὶ χάριτι παρὰ Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις.

 

Luke said that Jesus increased or progressed (Καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν) in wisdom (ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ) and maturity (καὶ ἡλικίᾳ).  He also increased in grace or favor before God and men (καὶ χάριτι παρὰ Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις).  In other words, Jesus matured as a human person, just as he done earlier in verse 40, and John had done in chapter 1:80.  This also had happened to the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:26.  Matthew, in his infancy story, chapters 1-2, never mentioned any growth or increase on the part of the infant child.  Jesus truly was divine and human at the same time.  In both his divine and human nature, Jesus grew or matured.

Explanation of the seeds among the thorns (Mk 4:18-4:19)

“Others are the seeds

Sown among thorns.

They are those

Who hear the word,

But the cares

Of the world,

The lure of wealth,

And the desire

For other things

Come in.

They choke the word.

It yields nothing.”

 

καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι· οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες

καὶ αἱ μέριμναι τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.

 

This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:22, and Luke, chapter 8:14, have this saying in an abbreviated fashion.  Mark explained that Jesus said that these seeds sown among the thorns (καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι) were the ones who heard the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες).  However, the cares and anxiety of this present world or times (καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος), as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth (καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου), along with the various desires for other things (καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι) choked or crowded out the word (συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον).  Thus, it yielded nothing (καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται).  The thorns were the everyday cares about physical riches and various pleasures that choked off the growth of the seeds or the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

The parable of the yeast (Mt 13:33-13:33)

“He told them another parable.

‘The kingdom of heaven is

Like yeast

That a woman took.

She mixed in

Three measures of flour,

Until all of it was leavened.’”

 

Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον.

 

This parable about the yeast in bread can be found in in Luke, chapter 13:20, indicating a Q source.  Once again, the emphasis of this parable is growth from a small piece of flour to a large leavened loaf of bread because of the yeast.  Jesus, via Matthew, told them another short parable (Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς).  The kingdom of heaven is like yeast (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ).  A woman mixed in three measures of flour (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία,) so that the bread was all leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  The kingdom of heaven will be like this leavened bread, always expanding.

A message for everyone (Isa 18:3-18:6)

“All you inhabitants of the world!

You who live on the earth!

When a signal is raised

On the mountains!

Look!

When a trumpet is blown!

Hear!

Thus Yahweh said to me.

‘I will quietly look

From my dwelling

Like clear heat in sunshine,

Like a cloud of dew

In the heat of harvest.

Before the harvest,

When the blossom is over,

The flower becomes

A ripening grape.

He will then cut off the shoots

With pruning hooks.

He will hew away

The spreading branches.

They shall all be left

To the birds of prey

Of the mountains.

They shall all be left

To the animals

Of the earth.

The birds of prey

Will summer on them.

All the animals of the earth

Will winter on them.”

Now Isaiah delivers a more universal message since this is for everyone living on earth, not just the Israelites. Yahweh had spoken to him. The example that he used was the harvest of vineyards, a fairly common biblical theme. Yahweh looked out from his dwelling, as on a clear sunny day or an overcast day at harvest time. He explained that the vine first had a blossom, a flower. Finally the ripened grape was ready for harvest. Along the way, he used pruning shears to cut back shoots and wandering branches. He left these for the birds and animals to use as food, sometimes storing them up for winter or summer. It is not clear whether this is an allusion to battles between the Assyrians and the Egyptians and Ethiopians. However, it is the story of the growth of a grape, if nothing else.

The righteous flourish like trees (Ps 92:12-92:15)

“The righteous flourish

Like the palm tree.

The righteous grow

Like a cedar in Lebanon.

They are planted

In the house of Yahweh.

They flourish

In the courts of our God.

They still produce fruit

In old age.

They are always green.

They are full of sap.

They show that

Yahweh is upright.

He is my rock.

There is no unrighteousness in him.”

This psalm ends with the righteous flourishing. The upstanding people flourish like palm trees or like the cedars in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of Yahweh. They flourish in God’s courtyards. Even in old age, they still produce fruit as they are green and full of sap. The growth of all these plants and trees shows the uprightness of Yahweh since there is no unrighteousness in him. Thus the faithful ones are like giant growing trees.