Matthew 13:33 remixed
He pitched them more spin: “The Economy of Heaven is like a computer virus that a hacker, having created, hid and sent in an email attachment until the whole network was infected.”
Matt 13:33 Actual:
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
My rewrite was inspired by an article by Jim Douglass (author of “The Nonviolent Coming of God”) which I found at Sojourners.
He suggests that for Jesus, leaven was a symbol of moral corruption.
In those days leaven was made by storing bread in a damp, dark place until it moulded. In Exodus leaven symbolized the unholy (Exodus 12:19). Paul understood leaven as symbolic of the morally corrupt. He twice cites a proverb, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), whose meaning by his application is the same as our own saying, “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.” Jesus shows the same understanding when he warns against the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod (Mark 8:15).
Douglas’ assumses that the parable begins with the common assumption: Leaven equals moral corruption.
With “three measures” (about 50 pounds)being enough to make bread for more than a hundred people, the leaven of God is far more corrupting than a rotten apple!
The “kingdom” is likened, not to the actions of a king but to —a woman, probably a poor and oppressed one.
She doesn’t just put the corrupt leaven in the flour. She hides it. She has to sneak in God’s tiny corrupting power. (Lots of translations lose the “hide” thing!!!)
Douglas’s remix: “The reign of God is like a tiny, corrupt substance, which a shrewd woman took and hid in a huge amount of flour, until it accomplished a transformation.”
Given this I wondered what spin Jesus might make if he was mixing it in our Mircosoft driven world of today….