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A Little Yeast (Leaven)

One humungous Loaf!


A little sin affects your whole life.

Materials Needed:

a clear glass or bowl.
Red food colouring.


Matthew 16:5-11.
1 Corinthians 5:6-7.


A Little Yeast?

Jesus spoke a parable to the disciples about the yeast (leaven) of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  This happened one day as they were going across the sea of Galilee.  The disciples had forgotten to take bread with them for a meal.  "Be careful," said Jesus to them, "And be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

What is yeast, and what do we use it for?  (Let the children respond).  Yeast is a brown powder that is added to bread to make it rise.

This puzzled the disciples and they discussed what this could mean amongst themselves.  It's because we didn't bring any bread!" they concluded.  Jesus in the meanwhile was aware of the disciple's discussion and asked, "You all have so little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?  Do you still not understand?"

Feeding the Multitudes:

"Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand people we fed," said Jesus, "And how many basketfuls did you gather?"  Children, how many basketsful did the disciples gather?  (Let the children respond).  Yes, that's right, twelve.

Or what about the seven loaves for the four thousand people," asked Jesus, "And how many basketsful did you gather?"  Children, how many basketsful did the disciples gather?  (Let the children respond)  Yes, seven.

"How is it?" asked Jesus, "That you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread?  But that you must be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."  Then the disciples finally understood that Jesus was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Making Bread:

In Jesus' day, when people made bread, they used an ingredient called leaven (yeast) to make bread rise.  Yeast makes the tiny air holes in baked bread.  These air holes are evenly distributed throughout the bread loaf, because when you put leaven in dough, it affects the whole loaf.

In 1 Corinthians 5:6, Jesus asked His disciples:

"Don't you know how a little leaven (yeast)
can work its way through the whole batch of dough?

Jesus warned His disciples to be on their guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which was their pretending to be better than anyone else and that they were God's special people.  But this was a lie because they put on an outward show, but inside their hearts they were wicked people!

Jesus also compared this to our lives.  He meant that you cannot have a little sin in your life without it affecting your whole person.  The Apostle Paul also warned the church to get rid of people who would not turn away from their sin, because their sin would spread and affect the whole church.

Disobeying God:

Sin is disobeying God.  You can't have some sin in your life and expect God to overlook it.  For example, even those so called "Little white lies" that you think can do no harm, are sins.  Why?  Because God said that lying is a sin, so you must be truthful in all you say and do.

A little sin will spread until it takes over your life.  If you lie about little things, you will also lie about important ones.  And so you must always ask Jesus to help you do what's right.  And this goes for all the other sins that we may do!

Sin Object Lesson:

To illustrate this, if I take some food colouring and drop a little into this glass of water, the colouring will swirl about and will change all the water to the colour I dropped in.  (Demonstrate this to the class).

Did you see how little colouring I needed?  (Let the children respond).  And it coloured all the water!  In the same way, sin mixes into your life until it colours everything you do!

Getting Rid of the Yeast:

Ask Jesus to forgive you whenever you sin.  In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Jesus said:

Get rid of the yeast
and then you will be like fresh bread made without yeast!

That means you will be free from sin.  How?  By telling Jesus what you have done wrong, and He will then forgive you and make you clean inside!

God bless.


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