Followers of Jesus are connected to him in a special way through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Believers are able to understand the teachings of Jesus on a deeper level than unbelievers. That is why many of the lessons Jesus taught were told as parables – graphic comparisons, illustrations, or analogies that would bring to life the super-natural elements of his plan. When the apostles asked Jesus why he used parables to teach, he essentially told them it was so only the serious followers could decipher his message. In other words, the parables of Jesus are sort of inside code specifically designed for true believers.
In one of his parables, Jesus told his disciples that the kingdom of heaven is like yeast mixed into a batch of bread dough. Once the yeast is added to the mix, there is nothing that can stop its growth. Yeast will expand a batch of bread dough to more than twice its original size. Jesus wants believers to understand that the Holy Spirit is working inside of all his followers to help expand his kingdom. Like yeast in bread dough, the Holy Spirit is an absolute force that creates profound change which will expand outward from all of the committed followers of Jesus. Nothing can stop the growth of the kingdom of heaven.
The parables of Jesus are some of the most important lessons found in the Bible. They are only fully discernable by those who have trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In his parables, Jesus makes the point that everyday aspects of our lives, like bread making, are examples of how God works. God is revealing himself to us in the way flowers grow, in the way waves crash on the shore, and in the way the sun comes up in the morning. The parables are a light that reveals the inner workings of God’s creation. Jesus is never simply telling stories; he is always revealing truth – truth that we can use on our journey to the kingdom of heaven.
The basic ingredients for bread are flour, water, and yeast. Once these ingredients are mixed together, they are given time to rise, then placed in an oven at just the right temperature, and baked for precisely the right period of time. Yeast expands the dough and the oven turns the dough into a perfectly prepared staple of life. There are lessons to be learned every step of the way. Jesus teaches us to take a closer look at the natural elements of God’s creation so that we can apply that understanding to our lives and the lives of those around us. Our mission is not to travel to the kingdom of heaven alone; we are to gather friends and family along the way. We achieve this goal when we allow the Holy Spirit to work from the inside out, expanding the kingdom of heaven every step of the way.