VERSES: Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20, 21
MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 13:33. "...The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Jude. Write "Jude" on small slips of paper, so the students may taken them home and memorize the second to the last New Testament book. Since this is a very short lesson, perhaps more time could be given to reciting the books of the Bible.
PRAYER: Pray that we may be a good influence to others, always choosing the good and right thing to do, even if others want to go in another direction.
SPECIAL SONG: Jesus Taught By Parable And Miracle (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Bring leavened and unleavened bread to class and compare them to each other; pictures of or real examples of baking soda, baking powder, yeast, etc. Write the entire verse--Matthew 13:33--on the whiteboard or chalkboard, so the students may copy verse easily on their bags.
- Do we know what 'leaven' is? There are many kinds of leavening agents, such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, sourdough, cream of tartar, egg whites, etc. What leaven does is causes dough such as breads or cakes to change or to rise. Leaven makes flour expand or get bigger by releasing gases. That's what makes the difference in 'leavened' bread and 'unleavened' bread. Leavened bread is big, puffy, is usually soft, and most often comes in a loaf. Unleavened bread is flat and is usually harder, much like a cracker. Jesus talked about leaven to the people.
- Speaking again in a parable, Jesus told the crowds of people who were listening something that was very familiar to them. He talked about simple things like bread and leaven. He said that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven. He told them that a woman took leaven and hid the leaven into three measures of meal until all of the meal was leavened.
- When the woman hid leaven in those three measures of meal or flour, something was going to happen! The leaven was going to make the rest of the meal rise, too! By putting leaven into those three measures of meal, some say that a woman could make eleven loaves of bread! That a lot of bread!
- What does this parable mean? Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is just like that leaven. The leaven was small, but it made the meal rise and get bigger and bigger. Jesus was saying that the church would start out very small, but it would grow until it filled up the whole world. This sounds like the parable of the mustard seed, doesn't it? From something small, great things would come!
"Older Student" Tips:
- Contrast the parable of the leaven to the parable of the mustard seed.
- A Christian can be a 'changing' force in the world. A Christian can stand for something good and right and can change the minds of others who might not be thinking about doing right things. Christians need to be brave, confident, and never afraid of doing things the right way, God's way.
ACTIVITY: The Parable of the Leaven
Materials needed: a small paper bag, a napkin or Kleenex, tape, marker.
- Hand out a paper bag. This is the three measures of meal.
- Write "The Parable of the Leaven" and "Matthew 13:33" on one side.
- Turn bag over.
- Write out "...The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened." on the bag.
- At the opening of the bag, write "3 measures of meal."
- Hand out napkin. This is the leaven.
- Crumple napkin into a small ball.
- Tape to secure shape.
- Write "leaven" on the napkin.
- Crumple paper bag gently, but do not tear it.
- Uncrumple and smooth out the bag.
- Open bag.
- As the Bible teacher reads the verse and reads the word "hid", the students place their "leaven" into the "meal."
- That's it!
- It is a fairly easy verse to memorize, if said enough times. Time permitting, let each student read the verse as the other students place their leavens in their meals.