Title: Parable #5: The Parable of the Leaven
Scriptures to Read: Matthew 13:33
Elements of the parable
The elements are the woman, leaven, and three measures of flour. The woman works it into the flour until it is all leavened. In other words, all the flour is influenced by the leaven. This is the point made by the everyday life example.
The reality and meaning of the parable
a. The Woman
Whenever a woman is used symbolically she represents a religious entity, which could be good or bad. For example, Israel is the wife of Jehovah, and the church is the bride of Messiah. On the bad side you have the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20, and the great harlot of Revelation 17:1-8, both representing false religious systems. In this parable it is used negatively. The point represented by the woman is that a false religious system will be introduced into the mystery kingdom.
b. The Leaven
When the word leaven is used symbolically it is always symbolic of sin, and in Matthew’s gospel a specific type of sin: the sin of false doctrine. So the point of this parable is that false teaching will be introduced into the mystery kingdom resulting in corruption of doctrine.
c. Three measures of flour
Furthermore, there are three measures of flour because Christendom eventually divides into three major divisions: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. All three divisions will have lesser or greater degrees of false teaching.