Matthew 13:31-35 (ESV)

31 He 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. 32 It 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.”

33 He 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.”

34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables;

I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”

  1. Mustard Seed (v 31-32)
    1. Mustard Seed – small seed that can grow to 10-12 feet in height
    2. Disciples often frustrated in their Kingdom expectations
    3. John 6 – crowds in the thousands leave
    4. Matt 21:8-9 – crowds line the roads praising Christ’s entry followed by a call for his Crucifixion
    5. “Did not the Old Testament contain prophecies concerning the exaltation of Israel, its expansion among the nations, and its cosmic significance during the Messianic age?” See 22:17, 18; Ps. 72:8–11; Isa. 54:2, 3; chap. 60–62; Jer. 31:31–40; 32:36–44; Amos 9:11–15; Mic. 2:12, 13; 4:1–8; chap. 5; Zech. chap. 2; 8:18–23; etc. But in the thinking of the people these passages if pondered at all were probably often lifted out of their contexts.
    6. But the Old Testament bears testimony to the truth that spiritually great results generally develop from small beginnings ( 1:8, 9; 11:1; 53:2, 3; Dan. 2:35b; Ezek. 17:22–24; Zech. 4:10
    7. The Parable is telling the listeners to have patience. God’s plan does not unfold as we expect but it does succeed.
    8. The first three parables of the Sower and the Weeds remind us that salvation comes from without. We wait on the Lord.
    9. The seed implanted is the Holy Spirit and the growth in the believer is not always perceptible but it is inevitable. It has small beginnings and its growth is not always straight but it happens.  As the believer grows he blesses his Church, his family, his coworkers, his neighbors, and the community.
  2. The Parable of the Yeast (v 33)
    1. He 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.”
    2. This is a large amount of wheat flour and a very tiny amount of yeast.
    3. It works its way through the whole lump so that the entire batch is permeated and rises.
    4. Theo entire life of the believer is permeated by the Kingdom.
    5. It is not as if a corner of the Christian’s life remains untouched by the Spirt but all is transformed.
    6. We cannot be content that we are saved and that our family is saved.
    7. We cannot be content that our friends are saved.
    8. We cannot be content to see ourselves do well and our neighbors suffer.
    9. Every aspect of our lives and our community is to be affected by the transformation of our lives together as lives transformed enable us to lover our neighbors.
    10. Law, human rights, personhood, justice, mercy – all is transformed and affected.
  3. Christ Fulfills Prophecy (v 34-35)
    1. 34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:
      “I will open my mouth in parables;
      I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”
    2. Christ fulfills the prophecy of Psalm 78:2
    3. Christ uttered profound and important things
    4. His meaning was reveled to His disciples but hidden from the crowds.
    5. Blessing and judgment came from these words.
    6. Even those who remained in darkness had to conclude something important was spoken.
  4. What are you seeking?
    1. Easy to get depressed about the power of the culture.
    2. Easy to get depressed about the spread of the Kingdom.
    3. Self-reliance
    4. Recognition
    5. The power of Christ in salvation is from the Creator of the Universe.
    6. But it comes in hidden ways.
    7. It comes in despised ways.
    8. It comes with reproach from the world.
    9. Is what we are doing significant?
    10. Work
    11. Vacation Bible School
    12. Can we press on together knowing that God is doing glorious things or do we only seek the glory as the world sees it?
    13. Christ takes the despised of the world and makes it into something great.
    14. Revelation – countless multitudes will be singing the praises of the Lamb.

 

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