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. Matthew 13:31-32
Jesus used several parables to describe the Kingdom of God/Heaven. It is notable here that Matthew never used the phrase “Kingdom of God”. This is most likely due to the fact that Matthew was speaking to a Jewish audience. Jews out of reverence for the name of God would not speak God’s name like that. The Kingdom of Heaven is synonymous with the Kingdom of God. One in the same.
In this parable, Jesus says that the “kingdom of heaven” is like…… a mustard seed. As Jesus said, this seed, is the smallest of all the seeds. But yet when it grows it becomes the largest of all the garden plants/trees. It is quite the contrast. The mustard seed goes from the smallest to the largest. It goes from what appears to be the weakest……to the strongest. It grows from being “bird food” to a “bird perch”. It goes from being unseen to being a can’t miss object. Jesus says this is how the kingdom is like. Crazy. True.
Jesus also shared this parable.
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. Matthew 13:33
Here is another example of a “small” thing compared to the Kingdom of God. According to Wikipedia, Yeast are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi. It is used as a leavening agent where it converts fermentable sugars in the dough into carbon dioxide. This allows the dough to rise and become larger and tastier. Once the yeast starts doing it’s thing…it’s impossible to separate from the dough. Jesus says that the yeast works it way until it’s through the whole dough!
What do we take from these two parables? Well I say that the Kingdom of God is an unstoppable force! The Kingdom begins spreading small (Jesus & the 12 disciples) and ends up with billions of people later through history. The Kingdom is growing and nothing can stop it! As the mustard tree becomes the largest in the garden…so will the Kingdom be the biggest & greatest. As the yeast permeates the dough and spreads like a wildfire….so will the Kingdom spread throughout the world. The rule of God is spreading throughout creation and the Gates of Hell won’t be able to take it!
If you were to use a parable to describe the kingdom…how would you do it? Try to use the same train of thought Jesus was using with the yeast/mustard seed. I’ll share my parable with my next post.