Parables: A Little Leaven

To Remember: A little evil goes a long way
  • Leaven - an ingredient in bread-making that creates the holes in bread.
Lesson -
1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (ASV)
Luke 12:1b-3 ... he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. Wherefore whatsoever ye have said in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and what ye have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (ASV)
Life of Jesus Bingo In the old days, when people made bread, they included an ingredient called leaven. Leaven is a yeast that makes bread rise. It creates air pockets in the dough, which end up being the tiny holes of air in finished bread. Have you ever had bread that had air pockets in one end of the loaf, and none in the other? No. Bread that has these air pockets has them evenly distributed throughout the bread. That's because when you put leaven in dough, it affects the whole loaf.

Jesus compares this to our lives. You can't include a little sin in your life without affecting your whole soul. He warned His disciples that they couldn't be a little bit hypocritical. Any hypocrisy (not practicing what they preached) would make then unreliable and sinful. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says that the church had to rid itself of unrepentant sinners, because the sin would spread and affect the whole church.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one [point], he is become guilty of all. (ASV)
Sin is breaking God's law. If you break one law, you are a sinner. You don't have to break them all. It's just like the law of the land. If you steal - you are a criminal. You don't have to be a murdered to be guilty of breaking the law. As long as you broke one law, you are a criminal.

We can't accept some sin in our life and expect God to overlook it. We can't allow "white lies" because we think they do no harm. God said that lying is a sin. We must be truthful in all things.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much.
A little sin will spread until it takes over our lives. If we lie about little things, we will lie about important ones. We must always try to do what's right.

Sing: Be careful little eyes

Activity: Bring a glass of water and some food coloring. Have them watch as the coloring swirls to change all the water to color. Describe how sins swirls into our lives until it colors everything we do.

Worksheet: Hand-out on leaven.

True or False
  1. A little bit of sin doesn't hurt.     F
  2. God hates all sin. T
  3. We can tell what's right from what's wrong. T (Bible)
  4. As long as we do more good than bad we'll be all right.  F
  5. Sin spreads and grows when given the chance. T
  6. It's ok to sin as long as you ask forgiveness afterwards.  F
  7. Everyone will sin. T
  • Memory Work
    • Luke 16:10 "He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much."
Questions for Review or use with gameboard
 linguistic questions
  1. Define sin. (breaking God's law)
  2. What does leaven do?
  activity questions
  1. describe some pains (problems) that sin causes
  2. Put together a puzzle. (A picture of a loaf of bread cut into puzzle pieces.)
  emotion questions
  1. What affect does sin have on our relationship with God?
  2. How does our sin make God feel?
application questions
  1. Describe ways in which sins grow. (A liar deceives to cover previous untruths. A proud person begins to hate others. An angry person becomes violent.)
  2. Can we surround ourselves with sin and remain pure?
fact questions
  1. How do we overcome sin?
  2. Name 2 ways to avoid sin.
review questions
  1. How do we learn right from wrong?
  2. If a person is honest in little things, he will be honest in ______.