What does Luke 13 mean, Kingdom of God ~ leaven for bread? Why so obscure?


#1

What is meant by today’s Gospel?

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

My first thought was that Christians should make an entire society Christian, but this clearly is not the case. Japan, for example, has had Christians longer than the USA have existed, yet today is 1% Christian.

Does it mean rather that Christian faith should completely transform every aspect of our lives? What then is the significance of wheat flour, only one thing, not a combination of different things?

Why does Jesus speak so obscurely? It seems to me evidence in favor of the disbeliever: One clear explanation is that the Bible isn’t “God’s Word to us”, but rather a collection of historical documents each intended only for a specific audience at that time, that people have assigned more significance to out of a combination of wishful thinking and being misled by others.


#2

Ver. 21. The flour represents us Christians, who receive the Lord Jesus into the inner parts of our soul, till we are all inflamed with the fire of his heavenly wisdom. (St. Ambrose)

Haydock commentary

Peace!!!


#4

IMHO:

‘‘It is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened’’

Leaven causes bread to rise, to grow, and to spread.

The Kingdom of God will continue to grow and to spread until the end comes. (Til the whole was leavened–or as Jesus said, the gospel will be preached to the ends of the earth, and then the end will come)

The Holy Spirit is the leaven, and works unseen in the hearts of people–thus the ‘‘leaven was hidden’’ (but the manifestation of the Spirit is evident). The Holy Spirit causes us to grow in Christ.


#5

There is a saying which says that “Scripture interprets Scripture”. So, let us correlate some Scriptures:

The Parable of the Mustard Seed. 18 [h]Then he said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’”

The Parable of the Yeast. 20 Again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed [in] with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

So, in both parables, the Kingdom of God is something very small. At the time of Christ, the Kingdom of God amounted to Him and the Apostles and their families.

In each, something was done to the small thing. In one, it was planted. In the other, it was mixed with dough. What did Jesus Christ do with the Apostles? He made them into a Church and planted them in the world. He mixed them right in the middle of Jewish and Roman society.

Then, in one parable, the seed grew to a very large plant where even the birds made their nests. While in the other, the yeast transformed the flour into something much bigger and different.

So, what happened with the Church? It grew and became the biggest dwelling in the entire world. And its members have transformed society. Society used be dog eat dog. Now society, where it isn’t governed by the rule of love, is mostly governed by the rule of law.

cont’d


#6

cont’d

My first thought was that Christians should make an entire society Christian, but this clearly is not the case. Japan, for example, has had Christians longer than the USA have existed, yet today is 1% Christian.

It is the goal, however.

Matthew 28:19 Go, therefore,[a] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.[b] And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Does it mean rather that Christian faith should completely transform every aspect of our lives?

That too:

Luke 13:A Call to Repentance.[a] 1 At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate[b] had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. 2 He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? 3 By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!

What then is the significance of wheat flour, only one thing, not a combination of different things?

Society, the world.

Why does Jesus speak so obscurely?

It is written:

Matthew 13:9 Whoever has ears ought to hear.” The Purpose of Parables. 10 The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 [a]He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.

Lest you misunderstand, the Apostles (i.e. the Church) is taught directly by Jesus Christ in order that believers may go to the Church to learn what Jesus commanded.

It seems to me evidence in favor of the disbeliever: One clear explanation is that the Bible isn’t “God’s Word to us”, but rather a collection of historical documents each intended only for a specific audience at that time, that people have assigned more significance to out of a combination of wishful thinking and being misled by others.

The Church Teaches us God’s word. The Bible is merely one of the repositories of God’s word. The original depository, is Catholic Tradition. Remember, Jesus established a Church, taught the Church His Doctrines and then commanded the Church to Teach. The Church then wrote the New Testament based on those Teachings.

Savvy?


#7

It’s hard because many explanations and commentaries are apparently what human beings think Jesus meant; the Gospel is not always clear in its literal meaning; and because it’s not clear that the Church today is teaching truth. You say we’re supposed to trust the Church, rather than understand God’s revelation directly from the Bible, but I don’t see a strong basis for trusting the Church: What priests tell me about reality appears contradicted by my experience of reality. “God loves you and cares for you” vs Christians in Lebanon being blown up on Easter Sunday, for example. Daily experience makes the Church’s teaching incomprehensible. “God is your Father; the Eucharist is Jesus” whereas going to church one only finds silence, emptiness, and bread and wine, for another example.

So I don’t see the basis for equating human opinion with the text’s meaning or the basis for trusting the Church.


#8

That sounds like a different question. One that I think can only be answered by prayer. God bless you!


#9

Because Christians are being martyred doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care for them.
We become more like Christ when we pick up our cross and follow Him.

We cannot fully imagine what He went through to show His love for us.

This life is very short…eternity is forever. So, we have this life to become more and more like Him, and all the precious sacraments to receive His grace.

Worshipful prayer and adoration opens our hearts more to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We all need wisdom and are encouraged to pray for it.

Peace,

Dorothy


#10

Pertaining to the OP, the answers have indicated that the text means different things to different people. This raises the question that the text itself has no clear meaning, to which you say that we’re to take its meaning from the Church rather than directly from the text itself. Hence I showed difficulties with assuming that the Church is correct.

The other answer was to refer to different texts and assume the meaning is the same, but this is another human opinion (that one should assume the texts are parallel and have the same meaning).


#11

Trust the Church. It is the institution which Jesus established to Teach His Commandments to the world. Matt 28:18-20


#12

Ver. 21. The flour represents us Christians, who receive the Lord Jesus into the inner parts of our soul, till we are all inflamed with the fire of his heavenly wisdom. (St. Ambrose)


#13

Oh you got there first.


#14

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