Today’s scripture is packed with parables meant to describe God’s kingdom to the masses. Jesus does this by relating them to common elements of the time; mustard seeds, yeast, treasure, and fishing. Come check it out.
Scripture: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 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.”
33 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.”
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.
49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied.
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
Today’s scripture is packed with parables meant to describe God’s kingdom to the masses. Jesus does this by relating them to common elements of the time; mustard seeds, yeast, treasure, and fishing.
What caught my attention in these verses is how Jesus he choose to describe God’s kingdom. He wanted to transform their lives, and perhaps ours, by helping them take a closer look at heaven. Previous parables in Matthews, spoke about preparing our hearts to receive Gods word and the challenge of weeds in fields of wheat.
This time Jesus first references the mustard seed, the tiniest of tiny seeds, which grew into trees of life. The farmers of those days considered Mustard a weed and would pull it out of their fields. Why would Jesus use the lowest of lows to describe God’s kingdom.
Mustard was the kudzu of our time. When I first came to North Carolina, I noticed this very leafy growth all over the place. It covered telephone poles and wires, trees and bushes. From what I’ve been told it isn’t easy to kill this stuff. One of my top 10 worst nightmares would be to walk from the street into the kudzu and never be seen again!
In the next parable Jesus talks about yeast. Another odd descriptor for heaven considering leavened bread, in those days, symbolized corruption. But just as God transformed a tiny Mustard seed into a tree of life, he used the yeast and leavened bread to feed the masses.
Like all good recipes, it’s the mixture of the ingredients that delivers the tastes we all love. My sister-in-law makes the best apple pie. I don’t know how she does it but every time she makes one there is some sort of divine intervention. Her apple pie, some vanilla ice cream, and a cold glass of milk is all I need!
In the last parable Jesus talks about casting a net and catching a ton of fish. Once brought to shore, the fisherman went through the catch and discarded all the bad fish. Jesus goes on to further explain this is how the angels will separate the wicked from the righteous.
So what does all this mean? We know we are all sinners and that there was only one perfect person, Christ Jesus our savior. So what is he trying to tell us some 2000 years later?
Perhaps we are all little Mustard seeds which, based on our actions, can either grow to be a trashy bush or a tree of life. Maybe we should take inventory of our lives before the angels come and see if we are the catch of the day or something to be discarded. It appears to me, through scripture and belief, that by God’s grace there is a place in heaven for all of us. He, through His son Jesus Christ, continues to feed the masses by His Word and Fatherly love.
Every day is another day to serve our Lord God, to treat others like we want to be treated, and to prepare ourselves for our next step in our Christian Life.
If God can use the Mustard seed and leavened bread to grow his kingdom, just imagine what he can do with you!!!!
This is the Word of God for us, the people of God.
Praise be to God – Amen
Until next time:
Remember wherever you are in your Christian walk, God is by your side and loves you unconditionally.
In Christian Love,
(For those who like subtleties, next time you play the game Clue perhaps the answer will be Col. Mustard, in the Kitchen with the candlestick cooking some leavened bread.)