Read Scripture: Matthew 13:31-35; John 3:5-7; Isaiah 60:21-22; Zechariah 4:10; John 14:15-21
Did you know that wild yeast is in the air around us all the time? If you’ve ever made a sour-dough bread starter, you probably knew this. Sourdough is made by harnessing the wild yeast available everywhere and giving it the right conditions to grow.
Some seeds are also designed to be delivered by the wind, often traveling amazing distances before finding the necessary environment to germinate and grow.
Seeds and yeast not only share in common the ability to use wind and air for transport, but they can also both withstand and survive extreme environmental insult prior to arriving in just the right spot. Yeasts can survive in both freezing and heat shock conditions, as well as a range of pH levels. Seeds commonly withstand the digestive systems of birds and the elevated temperatures of the compost heap before growing into a fruitful vine.
Something else to keep in mind that the Hebrew word for Spirit—ruach—also translates as “wind” or “breath.” The Holy Spirit is often described as wind.
With this in mind, the tiny two-sentence parables of the mustard seed and the yeast both actually have a lot to unpack. It sounds a lot like the Kingdom of Heaven is around us all the time, moving with the wind, withstanding a harsh world and searching for the right conditions to become activated for growth.
When those conditions are realized, a single cell of yeast will multiply enough to permeate all the flour you’ll feed it, resulting in batch after batch of delicious, freshly-baked bread. A tiny seed will grow and transform into a vast diversity of living material from roots, vines, branches and bark to flowers, leaves and, of course, fruit containing more seeds.
God desires each of us for His Kingdom, and so of course He would design it all so that as soon as we’re ready for spiritual growth, we experience it. He instantly rejoices the moment that the Spirit births new life in us. When it does, we’re receptive to the purposes that God prepared in advance for us. We’re ready to produce fruit and permeate the world around us with more of God’s Spirit.
As Jesus explained to his disciples, the world does not recognize the Spirit—but we do because it lives in us. They may not see the microscopic spores of yeast and they may disregard the fuzzy seeds floating through the air. But one day when the Spirit births new life into them, they’ll under-stand that God was there the whole time. Every time they saw the wind blow through the leaves of the trees, they witnessed the Spirit moving all around them. They will understand that the Kingdom of Heaven waited for just the right conditions to birth new life into them, and they will bring great glory to God no matter how small their beginnings.