My specific unwellness includes the Pharynx, Larynx and bronchial tubes, not included in the picture. Warm liquids help. Soups. Lozenges. Time, and a bit of my doctor’s prescription. This isn’t a stranger to me – it happens because of seasonal allergies. Ragweed seems to be the most virulent catalyst. Usually I stay under air-conditioning, but we took a trip over the weekend and I spent a lot of time in “fresh” air, laden with allergens.
It made me think of yeast:
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:33 KJV)
The Pulpit Commentary tells us:
While our Lord thus promises that the permeating influence of the kingdom of heaven shall at last be entirely successful, it is unfair to so press the parable as to deduce from it that the world as such will continue to be gradually and continuously improved up to the Lord's return.
Just as the ragweed had an impact on me, yeast is used in this parable to tell us that the kingdom of heaven will have an impact – but the commentary is pretty clear that we’re not to depend on that to accomplish the spreading of the word we are supposed to do.
Leaven, or yeast, is not usually used in a good sense in the Bible, as Christ explained to the disciples:
And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. (Matthew 16:5-7 KJV)
I believe we often take things in a logical, face-value way, leaping to conclusions that are not what our Lord had in mind. In this instance, He took time to explain:
Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:8-12 KJV)
Just as the tiny pieces of allergens have a detrimental effect on my health, the erroneous doctrine of the Pharisees, Sadducees or any misleader will have a detrimental effect on my spiritual health.
Paul used the same analogy when dealing with specific sexual sins in Corinth:
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1 Corinthians 5:6 KJV)
Paul used leaven as an example of even also here:
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9 KJV)
Next allergy season I will take greater precautions to remain separate from pollen, just as I take precautions to remain separate from sin. One has a short term effect – the other has eternal ramifications not only for me, but those who listen to my example.