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Our Rising Faith

Children's sermon
Object: 
A small bowl of water, a spoon, and a packet of instant yeast.
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (v. 33)

Does anyone remember the stories we have been talking about, called parables? (Let them answer.) Great. And does anyone remember just what a parable is? (Let them answer.) Yes, a parable is a story that has kind of a hidden meaning. Jesus told a lot of parables when he talked with people because he thought it helped them understand what he was saying. When he was talking to farmers, he told parables about seeds and plants because they would understand what he meant. When he was with fishing people, he told parables about fish and water because they would understand his message better. So, I wonder if anyone can figure out why in today’s parable, Jesus talked about making bread? (Let them answer.) Well, maybe he was talking to bakers? Let’s listen to the story and see if we can figure out why Jesus told it.

He was talking to those people who had just met him and were wanting to know how to be more like Jesus. I think some of them were kind of nervous. Being like Jesus sounded like something pretty hard to do. I know sometimes it sure sounds hard to me. Sometimes I just don’t think I can do it. I get tired, or I get angry, and sometimes I just want to say or do things that I know aren’t what Jesus would say or do. Yes, I think some of those people were worried they weren’t going to be able to be like Jesus. They just didn’t think they were strong enough.

That’s when Jesus told them the short parable about a woman putting yeast into her bowl of flour. He said that following him was like yeast that you put in bread. Do you know what yeast is? (Let them answer.) Yeast is a tiny little organism that does something very special for bread. When you put yeast in the flour and add a little water, something happens. (Mix the yeast, water, and flour together.) The yeast eats the sugar it finds in the flour and turns it into little bubbles of gas. And as it creates more gas, the flour starts to rise up and get bigger, and turns into a big loaf of bread. It starts out really small, but the yeast helps it become something really big.

I think that’s why Jesus told them that parable. They are like the flour in the woman’s bowl and believing in Jesus is like the yeast. The more we believe, the more the yeast grows and the more we grow with it. The more we believe, the stronger our faith gets, and the more things we can do the way Jesus would do them. Everyone knew about how bread rises, so they all understood what Jesus was saying.

But I think there might have been another reason Jesus talked about making bread. Did you smell it when we mixed the flour and yeast together? (Let them answer.) Boy, it smells great! If anyone walked into the room, they would know that someone is making bread! I think Jesus was reminding the people of that, too. As we try to be more like Jesus, other people see what we are doing, and it reminds them of Jesus. And then, just like yeast, we can help other people follow Jesus too.
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