Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For Good or Evil

The weather in early spring appears to engage in a tug of war between cold and hot. I watch the snow gradually disappear from the yard and wait with anticipation for the first robin. To me, seeing that bird means the arrival of spring.

But this year spring brings a serious problem—moss. Fourteen years ago I thought the occasional outcrop of moss between the interlocking bricks attractive. Now the moss has grown so prolific that it has almost covered some of the bricks. If left unattended, my patio will eventually disappear.

Moss reminds me of yeast in the Bible. There are two ways of thinking about it, however. Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. Once he told them, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough” (Matthew 13:33, NIV). Here the yeast is good because it represents the spread of the Gospel and the growth of God’s kingdom.
In contrast, on another occasion, Jesus chided his disciples for not understanding his warning: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6, NIV). They thought he was upset because they had forgotten to bring bread with them on their boat ride. After Jesus reminded them of his miraculous feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand, they finally understood. “He was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:12, NIV).

What kind of yeast are you? Is Jesus using you to enlarge his kingdom? Or is Satan ecstatic because you are encouraging others to remain in their sin and rebellion against God Almighty?