Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Yeast"

Jesus 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.” (Matthew 13:31-35).

Between the parable of the weeds and Jesus' explanation of that parable to his disciples, he told two other short parables. The first one was about the mustard seed and the second one involved yeast. Keep in mind that these parables are to teach us something about the kingdom of Heaven. The parable of the mustard seed was about a man planting the smallest seed in a field that grew to become the largest garden plant. The Gospel begins as a small seed that once it takes root and grows soon becomes the most important thing in our lives. This is also true in the world. Christianity began with a small group of disciples and quickly expanded so that by the end of the Fourth Century, a historian stated that the Mediterranean Sea had become a Christian lake. Today, Christianity is the world's largest religion numbering a billion followers.

In the parable of the yeast, the main character is a woman who is making bread in her kitchen. Starting with a little yeast, she mixes it into a large amount of flour. The yeast spreads through the whole batch of dough so it goes from a little to a lot. Usually in the Scripture, yeast symbolizes something bad or evil. We are all familiar with the pervasive influence of evil and can see numerous examples in the news of how it spreads. From the context of Jesus' parable, we understand Jesus' suggestion that the Gospel and Christians are supposed to influence their communities and the world for good. While we may be small in number, we can grow to have great influence as at the Gospel affects our lives and the hearts of others through life-changing faith. Christians are to be "salt and light" to their world.

This passage notes the fact that Jesus' teaching and parables was the fulfillment of a prophecy from Psalm 78:2 that indicated the Messiah would teach through the use of parables: "
I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old." Jesus was using parables to explain truth to his disciples while at the same time confirming to them that he was the Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ken, I was praying for you and Debbie earlier this evening and was talking with my son Christopher as well, who had asked about you last week. He is in the USN now for 12 years. God bless you both and I hope all is well for you both. Would love to have lunch sometime. Hope to hear back . . .

    John Payne