The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven

The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven

MATTHEW 13:31–33

31He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” 33He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

A lot of Jews and Christians in the first century were greatly longing for the kingdom of God to come. They were waiting for the promised Messiah to establish God’s rule on earth so that everything would be transformed. They were longing for a better world. However, their understanding of how the kingdom of God would be established was wrong.

The Jews thought that it would come quickly, with the Messiah defeating all worldly powers oppressing them. The Christians knew that it was through preaching the gospel that they would see the lives of people and society changed. However, they thought that it would be in their lifetime. Thus, when they failed to see this happen in their day, especially when persecution increased, many were discouraged. Even today, many Christians are discouraged when they continue to see evil and corruption in society and in the lives of people.

Some become unsure of the significance of what they are doing in advancing God’s kingdom. Others resort to other means because they want to see immediate change. Today, as we study two of Jesus’ parables, we hope that we will be enlightened as to the nature of the kingdom’s growth and encouraged with its surety.