"He told them another parable. 'The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, til it was all leavened'" (Matthew 13:33 RSV).
"And again he said, 'To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, til it was all leavened'" (Luke 13:20-21 RSV).
I think it is different in meaning from the typical theme of the majority of Jesus' parables. I've been wondering why there are a series of three that appear unique.
The two passages are virtually identical, which suggests to scholars that Matthew and Luke were both drawing from the same earlier source, now lost, which was a collection of Jesus' sayings known as the Q document. The kingdom of heaven was the central teaching of Jesus' entire ministry, and he tried to express it to as many people as possible by describing it in terms that they could understand. Here he is speaking to the housewives, who are familiar with the process of baking. Truly, when we realize the 'kingdom of heaven' consciousness of universal Divinity, we find every aspect of life expressing that consciousness. The spiritual leaven of faith infuses everything. I'm not sure the three measures of flour is anything more than a confirmation that both took that detail from the Q document. It does suggest, however, the Fillmore teaching of the true trinity of mind, idea, and expression. We start with a mind of total faith, create an idea through the power of imagination, and allow the leaven of Truth to bring the idea into expression.