The Parable of the Yeast Sunday School Lesson -
A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how they can spread the message about Jesus.
Needed: Bibles, a seed, a picture of a tree, bread without yeast, yeast, bread with yeast
Intro Game: Disciple TagChoose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.
Play two or three rounds and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.
LessonAsk students, Do any of you know of any famous singers or music groups? Who are they?
Did you know that at one time, those people were not famous? Maybe only a few people liked them, but since they were really good and their songs were really good, more and people heard about them, and they got more and more popular. Their songs got played on the radio, and they got to make CDs and music videos and play big concerts.
That’s kind of how it is with Jesus.
(Read Matthew 13:31-32.)
“He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’
(Show students your seed.)
Jesus said that the message about God started small, like this seed, because Jesus could only tell the people in His own country about God.
But then, after Jesus died, His disciples went and told more and more people about God. They even went to other countries to tell people about God.
And people are still doing that today. Christians go to other countries to tell people about God, just like you can tell your friends and family about God. More and people did believe and will still believe in God, and that makes the message about God more popular. It’s like the seed growing up to be a big tree.
(Show your picture of a tree.)
The message about God is also like baking bread.
(Give students a piece of unleavened bread.)
What’s wrong with this bread? (It’s not tall, it’s flat, etc.)
(Show students yeast.)
This is what you put into bread to make it get taller. It’s called yeast, and you only need a little bit. If you use just a little bit of yeast, your whole loaf of bread will rise up.
(Give students a piece of leavened bread.)
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 13:33.)
“He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.’”
The message about God started small, just like the small amount of yeast you need to bake bread, because Jesus could only tell the people in His own country about God. But then, as His disciples told more and more people about God, and as we tell more and people about God, then the message about God will get more popular, just like the little bit of yeast makes the whole loaf of bread rise up.
What is one thing you can do to help tell other people the message about God? (Tell your friends what you know about God, invite them to church or special church activities, etc.)
Game: Mixing in the YeastStudents stand in a tight circle with one student in the middle. The student in the middle is the Yeast. The students forming the circle are the Dough.
The student in the middle crosses their arms and spins, allowing the rest of the students to help push them along so that the Yeast makes it all the way around the circle.
Ensure that the circle is tight enough that the person in the middle can’t fall down. Divide your students into two or more groups if you need to in order to make each circle tighter.
Time how long it takes for the Yeast to go all the way around. Then, the time the next student as they pretend to be the Yeast. Encourage the students to try to beat their best time.
Once everyone has had a turn being the Yeast, explain that like yeast mixing up in a batch of dough, we have to go to different people and tell them about Jesus to give them a chance to believe in Him.
Game: The Seed and the YeastJust like Disciple Tag, you’ll choose one student to be It. They start as the Seed. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team, forming part of the Tree. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes the Yeast for the next round.
The next round is the same, but instead of forming a Tree, the Yeast starts and forms a whole loaf of Bread by joining hands those they tag.
Play a couple of rounds using each metaphor and then, explain that the news about God started small, but when we tell people about Jesus, we hope that the number of people following God will grow, just like a little seed grows into a large tree or a small amount of yeast makes a whole batch of dough rise and become a loaf of bread.
Closing PrayerJesus, we pray that You’ll help us to be the seed and the yeast that spread Your Word. Help us to tell other people about You so that more and more people come to believe in You. Amen.
Recommended ExtrasThe Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – for telling the stories with beautiful artwork and Biblical accuracy
The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Stories for Children – for telling the stories to younger children
Jesus in the Spotlight and Jesus – Awesome Power, Awesome Love (Discover 4 Yourself series) – in-depth Bible study books for older children based on John 1-10 and John 11-16
Mustard Seeds and Yeast – free object lesson, along with free coloring and activity pages