“The Parables of The Kingdom Part 2—The Parables of The Mustard Seed and Leaven”

This article is the part 2 of the Parables of the Kingdom series. You can read up part 1 Here. In this part, we’ll be taking two parables of the kingdom of God, given by the Lord Jesus Christ that gives basically the same meaning. We shall be studying the parables of the mustard seed along with the parable of the leaven.

Below is the quotation of these two parables from the scripture:

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of 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 the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof”—Matthew 13:31-32

Another parable spoke he unto them; The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened “—Matthew 13:33

These two parables come to us with basically the same meaning. In the first parable, the Lord likens the Kingdom of heaven to a grain of mustard seed which is the smallest among all seeds. In other words, it is negligible because of its tiny size. But when it is fully grown, it becomes the greatest among all herbs and becomes a tree that the birds of the air come and lodge on the branches…

 That is to say, after the complete metamorphosis of this seemingly insignificant thing, it turns out to become the most significant ‘succourer ‘of so many. Before relating the profound meaning of this great parable of the Lord, let’s also analyse the second parable –the parable of the Leaven.

In the parable of the leaven, the Lord likens the kingdom of heaven to a leaven. That is, a fermenter like yeast, which is also negligible in size. He says a woman took such an insignificant looking thing, and hid it or mixed it with three measures of meal. That is, in three measures of flour, and as such its presence becomes very insignificant.

 The leaven seems completely dominated by the flour. But however, that seemingly insignificant leaven, eventually end up causing a fundamental effect on the entire flour. It spreads through the whole flour and ferments it completely. It causes the flour to assume a proper shape and size for meal. The little leaven ends up shaping and sizing up the seemingly dominant three measures of flour. The Lord says the kingdom of God is similar to these seemingly insignificant mustard seed and the leaven.

“How These Parables Relate to Practical Christianity”

Relating these two parables of our Lord to practical Christianity…

 It is clear, that the things of the kingdom of God seems less important and negligible to so many people. And people treat them as such. The gospel of the Kingdom, Prayers, Word Study, godly living, Fasting and the rest spiritual activities of the kingdom of God, are relegated to the background.

Many see them as waste of time and energy. While some others that engage in them, only engage in them during their leisure time. They pay more attention to other things and seldom give themselves to these spiritual exercises.

They only pay attention to them when it’s very convenient for them or when they get into troubles. As a matter of fact, a believer once told me he prefers to think more rather than praying.  When you go around to share the gospel of the kingdom of God to people—especially these days—they  tell you right off the bat that if you’re not going to teach them how to make money or give them money, you should forget about the preaching.

Concerning studying the scriptures, a lady friend of mine who was a student, once told me, she hadn’t gotten enough time for her academic studies let alone have time to study the Bible. What about Fasting? Many travel out of town when a season of fasting and prayers are proclaimed in the Church. They say they can’t play with their stomach. Then concerning godly living, so many do not pay attention to it at all. They excuse themselves saying, we are all humans living in a sinful world so no one can live godly in this present world.

But just like the mustard seed and the leaven in our Lord’s parables, after the period of negligence, these kingdom exercises turn out to become the most significant and important. Akin to how the mustard seed turns out to become the greatest tree for all birds to lodge on. And as the little leaven, leavens the entire flour…

Even so, with time, the despised things of the kingdom eventually turn out to be the most important. When people eventually find themselves in trouble with no hope or help from anywhere, they get back to the things of the kingdom.

They listen to the gospel. They pray as if their lives depend on it. They fast. They study the Bible as the only book in the world. They try all they could to live godly. But unfortunately, many only get to discover the all important significance of the matters of the kingdom of God at an hour when it becomes too late. Many discover it at the point of death. Many discover it only after they’ve already arrived in hell. And many will discover it only after the last trumpet has been sounded. And at that time, they can only wail and gnash their teeth with regrets forever.

I pray you won’t be among the ‘regretters’ in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! If you’re yet to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour, please click this link to do so now before it becomes too late. And if you’re already saved, please accept this message as a call to revival concerning the things of God. Get more serious with the things of God for your ultimate good and salvation in Jesus name.

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Emeke Odili