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.”
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.”
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
- Matthew 13:31-35
“I can tell you’ve been hurt
By that look on your face, girl.
Some guy brought sad into your happy world.
You need love, but you’re afraid that if you give in,
Someone else will come along
And sock it to ya again.
“One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl.
Oh, give it one more try before you give up on love.
One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch girl.
Oh, I don’t care what they say,
I don’t care what you heard.”
- George Henry “Bart” Jackson, One Bad Apple
If you want to catch up on local politics, news, or gossip, get a haircut. If the barbershop is under the same restrictions for COVID-19 as the restrictions that they have in our part of Pennsylvania, get your haircut when the barber has time to forget his schedule and talk more than cut hair.
I have been getting my haircut in recent years by the new barber, but the owner, a man about our younger son’s age, had an opening near lunchtime, perfect for conversation unless he was hungry. Everything in the shop is by scheduled appointment and you pay more for the no-wait service, but since I had not gotten my hair cut in six months, it was worth it.
The barber told me about a family that we both knew and the problems they were having. I thought the older son was too rough with his younger brothers, but the barber talked of the younger boys getting into too much trouble. It caused me to wonder who in that particular barrel of apples was the one bad apple. Yet, a little strife within the family became a problem for everyone.
When Jesus talks of a little yeast spreading within a large amount of dough, the entire amount of dough is affected by the yeast.
When I worked in the nuclear industry, if something was just a little contaminated, it was contaminated. Some types of contamination could be cleaned, but then you had the acid and water used in cleaning it to clean up. Once there was a spill of contaminated liquid onto a patch of soil, or so the fable goes. A bulldozer was brought in to dig up the soil, but then they were unsuccessful in cleaning the bulldozer. They drove the bulldozer onto the concrete floor of a deep ditch. They buried the bulldozer. Then they poured concrete over the top, so that rainwater would never reach the contaminated bulldozer, and then covered that with more clean soil, so that the concrete would not be affected by climate change. Then they planted grass. All because of a tiny speck of contamination. When you consider that there is natural radioactive materials in a lot of things around you, why go to so much trouble for something so small as to cause no harm to anyone? It was like the yeast. A small amount affected the whole thing. It might not harm anyone, but those people in charge knew that it was there. Their conscience would not let them ignore it. And by the way, I never saw the fabled bulldozer; so, I cannot confirm the story. I have no idea if the story was true. I saw where the bulldozer had dug, but the legend of the dirty dozer lives on.
George Henry Jackson, from Mississippi, was a songwriter. He had written “One Bad Apple” for the Jackson 5, probably not related at all, but the Osmonds saw the song and it became their first big hit. In the context of the song, the boy is asking the girl to give love (romance, that is) another chance, because one bad experience does not mean that the next experience will not be a good one. But in so many aspects of life, Einstein was correct.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
- Albert Einstein
And when we do not follow the teachings of Jesus, repeatedly, expecting to “get away with it,” it never works out. Each of our lives has a little yeast, but do we become a bad apple? (I love confusing mixed metaphors.) Or do we turn to Jesus. Jesus could decontaminate the bulldozer, just as He cleanses the sin in our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.