Food plays a role in many Bible stories. Cooking is a great bonding activity for families. It can add warmth to your home and make it smell wonderful! The results can even be shared with others as a way to serve them. Combining easy cooking and scriptures from the Bible can be the beginnings of a fun Bible study and create great memories for your kids.
Grab your Bible app on your phone and select the NIrV version. Read to your kids Matthew 13:33 and Luke 13:20. Point out to your kids that this parable is in two books of the Bible. It must be an important parable of Jesus, so what do they think it means? What is Jesus trying to teach us?
Chances are good, your kids won’t have an answer or won’t be confident in the one they give. When that happens, teach them that often Jesus told several parables together and many times these groupings had a theme. Back up a couple of verses in both passages and read the parable of the mustard seed that comes before the parable of the yeast. Ask your kids if that makes the parable of the yeast any clearer. If not, back up again and read the parable before the mustard seed in Matthew.
With younger children, you can explain that putting just a little bit of yeast in a large amount of flour causes it to rise and create a lot more bread than would have been made without the yeast. Older kids might benefit from showing them how to find and use a concordance on the internet. Here’s the link to a popular one. Point out that while the basic meaning of the parable is the same (a little can influence a lot) some people believe it was meant in a positive way based on the parables around it and others believe it was more of a warning to avoid evil and its influence.
Tell your kids you want to experiment with yeast to better understand the parable. You can use this simple bread recipe that uses yeast but doesn’t require kneading or this bread recipe that does require your kids to learn how to knead. If you want, you can also make one of these unleavened bread recipes.
Have your kids notice how much dough you have before it rises and how much it grows after rising (Note: extending rising time can make it grow even larger, but if you extend it for too long the dough can collapse.) As it bakes, discuss how your kids and your family can be like yeast in the world, helping God’s Kingdom grow. Don’t just focus on the future, but on practical things your kids can do now.
If you also make unleavened bread, compare the two. What differences did the yeast make? How can people influence others to either obey or disobey God? How can that influence spread? For older children, this can lead to a discussion on social media, influencers and using a platform for God.
Have fun with it. Can you think of other possible food family devotionals? They are also a great way to teach your kids some life skills while you are teaching them about God.