Working with yeast is not my strong point. Waiting for dough to rise and punching it down is just too much of a hassle. It is especially difficult to be motivated to bake my own bread when there is so much fresh wonderful bread available here in France.
The chemistry behind the leavening process is interesting being that yeast is a fungi. This living organism as it reproduces creates two by-products; alcohol (evaporating during baking) and carbon dioxide. It is this gas which filters through the dough creating loft. It seems so mysterious as one does not actually see it happening.
Leaven is a symbol in the Bible often representing sin or false teaching. In our verse for today Jesus was very specific about naming the leaven of the Pharisees; hypocrisy. They had a public image that did not correspond with their private behavior. They had a very high standard for everyone but themselves. They could seem very spiritual but be leading a double life.
Christ warns that nothing remains secret. One day, everything formerly hidden will be revealed. Like leaven, my behavior or thoughts can be covered up for a time. But eventually, the evidence of that leaven is seen. I may be able to fool others around me but the Lord knows my heart!
When I read warnings like this I am reassured that God will not be mocked. At the same time I need to examine myself. Am I faking it? Do I fall into this same trap of projecting a false image of “super saint?” Lord, punch down this dough and keep me humble!