The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

October 15, 2023
The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

Scripture Reading: Matthew 13: 31 - 33 (NIV)

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though 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.”

33He 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.”

Message:  The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

About God’s Kingdom

Jesus told parables as an illustration on specific matters

Here in Matthew 13 we find a group of parables together that is specifically aimed to illustrate matter of the kingdom of heaven

There is the parable of the sower, the weeds, the mustard seed, the yeast, the hidden treasure, the pearls and the net

All parables illustrating something about the kingdom of heaven

It is easy to be tempted into making these parables about something else

Jesus is not telling a story about how you should listen to God (sower), how you will be punished if you don’t (weeds), how things are hidden (treasure and peal)…

Jesus is telling parables in Matthew 13 to illustrate something about the kingdom of heaven

Let us not confuse it with our own interpretations of what we want this to mean - this is not about church, or faith, or love, or even what we should be doing

Mustard Seed - Size and Growth in the Kingdom

So Jesus said - “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed

Yes, a mustard seed that is tiny and grows into becoming a big tree

With this parable Jesus wants to say something about size in the kingdom

It is easy to underestimate size in the kingdom

What is small in the kingdom can eventually grow into something big

Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven will begin small and grow into something big

A relative comparison of a small seed and a big tree

And the key to the parity in size is growth

With this parable Jesus is telling us how the kingdom of heaven is - it is a statement:  the kingdom will be small to begin with, and it will grow into something big

Yeast - Diffusion of the Kingdom

Jesus also says:  “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast

Again size - a small amount of yeast into a big amount of dough

But the small amount has a huge impact on the rest of the dough

Without the yeast the bread will not be - the yeast is infusing the dough so that it can rise (grow) to eventually become bread

It is called the process of diffusion - infiltration 

With this parable Jesus is again telling us how the kingdom is - it has the nature of infiltration and where it infiltrates it changes 

Kingdom:  What, Where, How?

Let’s get to the “so what?” question… what is these parables of Jesus saying to me today?

The kingdom of God is all around us - the kingdom of God springs up in the smallest of settings, sometimes in the most unlikely places

The kingdom of God is growing - it is growing beyond our imagination - growing into a big tree 

The kingdom of God is changing the world we live in, like yeast changing dough - it is making the world better… it is happening 

The kingdom of God is growing and impacting the world

The kingdom of God grows where believers learn to share, learn to pray, learn to serve, learn give, learn to stand up for what is right - it is truly magnificent to see the kingdom God grow

And where the kingdom of God grows, it has an impact - where people start to realize how they need God, where people find hope when they feel like all is lost, where people find joy against all the odds, where people find peace among turbulence, where people feel loved despite their past 

Pay Careful attention

Now, we started this service with a call to worship from Matthew 6: 33

You will probably know this verse best for the words:  “Seek first the kingdom of God all these things will be given to you…”

In the Message translation, it is translated:  “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow

Pay careful attention to what is going on around you - the kingdom of heaving is coming - it is coming all around you

Not one day in the distant future - right now!

God’s kingdom is growing and might just be happening somewhere else than are looking - away from our traditional way of doing church or our set ideas of what it should look like

God’s kingdom is impacting the world we live and the sad thing is Christians and the church so often stands on the sidelines

The kingdom of God is growing!  The kingdom of God is changing the world! 

The message today is simple - wake up and smell the roses!

Come and join the kingdom of God!


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