January 20: "The Viral Gospel"
"The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened." (Matthew 13:33)
It's called "going viral." In the world of social media, it's become something of a holy grail. The idea is simple: rather than try to capture everyone's attention all at once, you create something small. If enough people "share" your content, it eventually generates a tidal wave of interest. A single Facebook post, for example, can eventually snowball into something shared around the world.
The principle, of course, predates our digital age. Nature does something similar all the time: the division of cells, the growth of populations. Jesus seems to have this in mind in Matthew 13:33. It's the shortest parable in the Bible, but it packs a lot of meaning.
Jesus describes a woman who works "leaven" or yeast into "three measures of flour." If that doesn't impress you, we should point out that this would have been about 50 pounds—enough to feed 100 people or more. And while "yeast" was often used as a symbol of corruption and decay, here Jesus reverses the image, emphasizing the way something small can spread throughout a larger system.
But let's not miss a deeper point. Yeast doesn't simply work because of a mechanical process, or even a chemical process. Yeast works because it literally infuses life into the bread.
Christ-follower, we are called to be present in the world. We are called to share the gospel with our friends, neighbors and coworkers. At times, our contributions may feel small. The culture around us seems too hostile, too indifferent, too…lifeless. But here Jesus promises that God can take the smallest things of the world and let them "go viral," that over time our faithful presence in the world would have an impact.
Our world is hurting. God's kingdom is growing. Keep sharing.