The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. What was kept secret from the foundation of the world? What happened at the foundation of the world? We would expect Christ to come as a mighty warrior, but he comes instead as an infant. Jesus touches on this in the first parable. The end-time Babylon becomes "a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird" (Revelation 18:2). Third Pair: The Treasure (verse 44) represents the preciousness of Christians to Christ, who can see their hidden value and sacrifices all to possess them. In Luke 10:2, when He sends the seventy out, He says the laborers are few. Luke separates the sower and soil parable and groups the mustard seed and leaven parables into a 2 parable unit. The context of the parable in Matthew 13 follows the long parable of the sower and the seed and the parable of the tares sown by the enemy among the good seed of the field. The parable of leaven describes the internal characteristics of the kingdom. The parables can also be grouped into related pairs that illustrate the church's different characteristics: First Pair: The Sower (verse 3) represents the relationship of the church to the different groups of people with which it comes into contact while doing its work. Everyone agrees that the man - the sower - is Jesus Christ, as in the Parable of the Tares. It is a very simple story—a snapshot of life, really: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough” (Matthew 13:33; cf. When the Jews heard this parable, they must have been astounded. Tiny leaven, big loaf is intended for us, as well. They began the work of rebuilding, but had let opposition from the neighboring peoples bring the project to a halt. 31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”. The chapter contains eight parables. when Jesus had finished these parables, . Matthew 13:34 applies specifically to what Jesus had just said, but it also applies generally to all the parables. . I Corinthians 1:26-29 says that God called the weak and the base of the world to put to shame the mighty and the noble. What does the seed do? Notice the comment Matthew makes following the first section. Get that sin out, so you can repent." . To repent means to change destructive and addictive behavior that not only damages your own life but that of others in your family who love and care for you. Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 2): Leaven. In this parable, the small seed is the church, which appeared as the firstfruits of the Word. Jesus also spoke of common civic duties and social events. He saw that the people would be full of leaven, and they would always be, until they were changed to spirit. In verse 8, Paul defines leaven as "malice and wickedness." If you’ve been struggling as a God-fearing person and wonder if something is wrong with you, then take a lesson from this parable. Richard T. Ritenbaugh "The Parable Of The Mustard Seed" - Mk 4:30-32 b. That was the first step in Satan's plan—"Get them while they're young"—and he has been doing the same thing ever since. (“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed”). “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches”(Matthew 13:31-32). These eight parables can be divided into three sections. See what over 150,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. The problem with this understanding is context. The parable is that mustard is the least among seed, yet grows to become a huge mustard plant that provides shelter for many birds. Merchants could relate to illustrations from the business world that translated into spiritual principles. In verse 19, instead of saying "birds of the air," Jesus interprets them as "the wicked one"devouring the seed. After the first series of four parables, Matthew writes, "All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them" (verse 34). (From Forerunner Commentary). As is so often true, the Gospel begins differently than we would expect. 32 Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.". In a way, the eighth follows the seventh, but it is a parable in its own right. Nothing that we do can be considered to be above and beyond the call of duty (vv. 13:31-32; and Luke 13:18-19. He is referring to those who voluntarily submit to God's dominion (the Kingdom of God), and they are absolutely few indeed at this point in time - compared with fifty billion people who have lived on this earth. For who has despised the day of small things? Opposition and criticism had hindered them. Prophecies concerning the birth, life and death of Jesus the Messiah had yet to be fulfilled. Martin G. Collins Here are two parables intended to show that the gospel church should be very small at first, but that in process of time it should become a considerable body: that of the grain of mustard-seed (v. 31, v. 32), and that of the leaven (v. 33). He is working within His Church now, a small body of believers (Luke 12:32 Luke 12:32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.American King James Version×)—but a body which will later be visible and apparent when God’s followers are transformed and His Kingdom rules over all nations. Romans 9:27 quotes Isaiah saying that the remnant will be saved. He and his wife, Debbie, have served in the ministry for more than 43 years. Simple - it is His church: the few, the small, the weak, and the base. God gives the power of the Holy Spirit to work faith and righteousness in His chosen people. . Just as in the Parable of the Sower, the one who sows the mustard seed is the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, and the field is the world. An apple tree produces apples, and in the middle of an apple is a bunch of little seeds. God was greater than the king of Persia. The Mustard Seed and Leaven parables highlight the dominion of God becoming present in an unexpected and, by worldly standards, scandalous way, in the way of the cross. Matthew identifies the birds of the air as "the wicked one" (Matthew 13:4, 19). American King James Version×: “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.’”. In the harvest God will have the tares separated from the good grain. The Bereans "received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:10-11). His method stands in sharp contrast to the involved and lengthy style of some Bible commentators. At that moment the Jews were the remnant of the covenant nation of Israel. United Church of God is a 501(c)3 organization. Second Pair: The Mustard Seed (verse 31) represents the dynamic growth of the church from small beginnings even while adversaries confront it. God calls (John 6:44), but He draws them to Christ. That describes a kingdom destined for remarkable growth [To appreciate the point of the parable, some background information may be helpful on...] I. Jesus is referring to those few who, upon their calling by God, voluntarily submit to God's dominion, the Kingdom of God. Jesus gave clear and precise illustrations to which His audience could relate. In verse 7, Paul says, in essence, "You are supposed to be pure. The first consists of the first four parables: the Parable of the Sower, the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, the Parable of the Mustard Seed, and the Parable of the Leaven. Satan's plan to destroy God's plan of salvation, which He is fulfilling through the church. Adam and Eve sinned. Parable of the Mustard Seed, Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 1): The Mustard Seed, Parables of Matthew 13 (Part One): Introduction, Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Four): The Parable of the Mustard Seed. To repent in a biblical sense means to look into the mirror of God’s perfect law of liberty and ask if you are a hearer or a doer of the Word of God (James 1:22-25 James 1:22-25 [22] But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. "Birds of the air" is a negative symbol. He knows our frame and gives us grace (Psalm 103:14). Is it full of sin? It should stand alone. This parable begins with the standard comparison of one thing with another. [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass: This small outpost of Jews was completely at the mercy of the great Persian Empire and its king, Cyrus. It was a vision God wanted conveyed to the leader of the Jewish community, Zerubbabel. They did not need an increase of faith that would bring some reward following its use, but a faith that, although small like a mustard seed, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Martin G. Collins Because of its minuteness, the mustard seed came to symbolize small beginnings, denoting the smallest weight or measure, a tiny particle. (Matthew records Jesus using the term “kingdom of heaven” as a euphemism for “kingdom of God” because religious Jews of that time didn’t speak the name of God out of reverence and lest they break the Third Commandment against taking God’s name in vain. Instead, it says: "I will utter dark sayings of old," providing another clue that what Matthew 13:34 refers to in respect to the first four parables is dark. Birds are naturally attracted to the taste of the mustard seed. It is almost unthinkable that the Kingdom of God would be full of leaven throughout. It is commonly thought by Bible scholars, although not by all, that the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Luke 13:18) is about the spreading out of the Gospel, no doubt, because Jesus mentions the plant as a metaphor for the Kingdom of God. He says, "The seed is the word" and later it is "the sons of the kingdom." In his version, Mark uses the specific word "Satan," and similarly, Luke has "the Devil.". The two wave loaves that were offered on the day of Pentecost (Leviticus 23) were made with leaven, because they represent us, the Old Testament and the New Testament, or the Old Covenant and the New Covenant—the churches of those times that were full of leaven, that is, sinful people. 13:31-32) reveals some of these divine attributes, particularly as it relates to the growth of the kingdom. The mustard seed stands for the progress of the church from small beginnings. God’s purpose would stand. This sounds like the Parable of the Leaven. Jesus uttered the parable in… In Luke 10:2, when sending the seventy out, He says the laborers are few. Jesus teaches us by the simplicity and shortness of His parables that directness and brevity are effective teaching tools. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" The leaven went throughout the Corinthian church. Usually the eighth is combined with the seventh parable. Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! This power of life and faith is available when people realize they don’t have the real power of God inherent within them. The parable of the mustard seed (Matt. 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. So Jesus' parable about the mustard seed and the tree is a parable for me and you, too. We know about the mustard seed. In fact, the bush is as large as some trees in the region. It will grow and expand, including both Christians and non-Christians. The parable is short, and using a mustard seed fits the brevity of His point. In analyzing these parables, we discover the King's personal view of His Kingdom through the past, present, and future of the history of His church. However, its insignificance in size is overshadowed by the size of its fruit. In Matthew 7:13-14, Christ says the way that leads to eternal life is difficult and narrow, and there are few who find it. When the mustard plant mutated from its original form, God replanted His true church in another corner of the field, beginning the process anew. It is instead an agent of the Kingdom of God at work to make the Kingdom of God grow and expand. But the message, as usual, is quite large and filled with profound insight. Birds use the branches of … Fourth Pair: The Dragnet (verse 47) teaches that the good and evil who intermingle on earth will be completely separated in the judgment. A little bit of yeast in the dough will make the whole thing rise because the yeast ferments and spreads throughout the entire lump of dough, making it all rise. Mark creates a 3 parable unit. Like the lion of I Peter 5, they go for the stragglers, the weak, and the newborn, because they are the easy pickings. Crush them—before they are strong enough to resist. God’s Spirit must be a part of our life. It makes no sense to say that the Kingdom of God grows by means of the Kingdom of God. [7] Who are you, O great mountain? He enjoys hunting, travel and reading and spending time with his grandchildren. What became of the true church? • Finally, Jesus tells a parable that helps the disciples to understand their high calling. This plant ceased to be God's church when it perverted its doctrines and objectives, moving beyond God's intended limits. And we are right! A few years ago I was given the gift of a mustard seed. Are you at that point yet? Although it has small beginnings, it is to have a marvellous expansion, so that even those who naturally are outside it are glad to avail themselves of its protection. The Leaven (verse 33) represents the progress of the church against and despite the contagious outspread of sin. They have two sons, who are both married, and four grandchildren. Wives could grasp His word pictures from home life. We have to substitute kingdom for apple tree to understand the analogy here. 31 He put another parable before them, saying, z “The kingdom of heaven is like a a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. In 87 out of 88 times, it means something bad, but here in Matthew 13, leaven is positive. Expectations are high. In the parables, Jesus gives the disciples the symbols' narrow meanings. The parable focuses on this idea of smallness. Yet, in the area where Christ was speaking, it grows to a height of ten feet. The Parable of the Mustard Seed is contained in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew 13:31–32; Mark 4:30–32; Luke 13:18–19). He reiterates in Matthew 20:16 that few are chosen. We learn in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares that a seed is the means by which a plant grows and reproduces itself. Jesus used pictures that fit the occasion in a way that preserved their naturalness. FAITH LIKE A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED This mustard plant did something abnormal by growing beyond its design parameters; it became larger than what God designed as normal. In Galatians 5:7-9, Paul calls leaven a "persuasion [that] does not come from Him who calls you," one that hinders us from obeying the truth. The mustard seed represents something small that does its part in expanding God's Kingdom. The seed is in a small clear case, and I can attach it to my suit jacket or sport coat to wear on the lapel. And [an angel] cried mightily with a loud voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! The disciple with this type of living faith is convinced of the fact that God exists (Romans 4:16-22; Hebrews 11:1-3), conscious of his intimate relationship with God (Romans 5:1-2), and concerned about absolute submission to His will (Romans 12:2). It is an analogy, and as in all analogies, the correlation is not exact. Hallelujah! Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Parable of the Mustard Seed Black mustard grows all across America, which is used to make the mustard that we put on our hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Matthew expands Mark’s simple scheme into a 7 parable unit. The answer is that the parable of the mustard seed describes the external growth of the kingdom. Though it seemed small at the moment, God was working! Matthew 20:16 reiterates this by saying that few are chosen. In other words, it is sin. It means to stop living the way that brings problems, heartache and tragedy and ends in broken lives that are hard to fix. These can only be Satanic things, bad, negative things inspired by the Devil. That is almost twice the height of most ceilings. Jesus gave the first four to the mixed multitude, while He told the last four to the twelve disciples in private. Just before the day of Pentecost in AD 31, Acts 1:15 puts the number of disciples - or perhaps families - at about a hundred and twenty. “The Kingdom of God…is like a grain of mustard seed” (v. 31a). Demoralized from the years in Babylon, their confidence in both their ability and God’s presence among them was weak. In Matthew 7:13-14, Christ says the way that leads to eternal life is difficult and narrow, and few find it. He gave the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19) to the mixed multitude to disclose evidence of a specific characteristic of the church compared to the outside world. Church when it perverted its doctrines and objectives, moving beyond God 's church when it perverted its and! God, the mustard seed ( from Forerunner commentary ) helps the disciples the '! 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