Our scripture this week is Matthew 13:31-43.
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.” 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.” Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Jesus has more to tell the crowd. He tells us that even small things, like the mustard seed can have a large effect. “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” (v. 33). Jesus wants us to see that even our small efforts are important to God.
I’m not a baker, but a food website lists the ratio of yeast to dough for bread as 0.5% – that’s a pretty small number, 1 in 200 if you want to look at it that way. It only takes a few energetic yeast buds to cause the whole loaf to rise. Jesus tells us that our task will not be easy, but like the yeast in the dough, the Good News will spread throughout the world if we are faithful to share it.
Mustard seeds and yeast, plain and common things that teach us about the kingdom of God. Jesus knew these examples would cause people to think and talk about His teachings, and learn about God’s plan for us. Think about the small things you can do every day to help reach God’s children here.
Gracious God, we are small and weak, but with Your help we can tell people about Your wonderful love and our connection to You. May our sharing bring the whole world to you. Amen.