The Parables of Jesus # 13
Leaven - Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21
Mustard Seed - Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19


Matthew 13:31-35
  31. 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:
  32. 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.
  33. Another parable spake 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.
  34. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto
        them:
  35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in
        parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Verse 31 - 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:

  [A] Here we find Jesus telling another parable
          [1] I found a good definition for a parable
          [2] A comparison of earthly with heavenly things, "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,”
  
  [B] The Kingdom of Heaven
          [1] When Jesus talks of the Kingdom of heaven, What is he speaking of?
                  [a] The things of God
                  [b] Living a wholesome life
                  [c] Being a part of the family of God
                  [d] Being a servant of God
          [2] When Jesus talks of the Kingdom of God
                  [a] He is explaining what the kingdom is like
                  [b] The workings of the kingdom
                  [c] The way we should think of the kingdom
          [3] When one thinks of the Kingdom of Heaven, one usually thinks of Heaven itself, but the Kingdom of heaven is
                  much larger than that
                  [a] The Kingdom of Heaven is the domain that God the Father and God the Son rules over.
                  [b] Heaven is the place where the King of all creation rules from.
                  [c] His subjects should be everyone who lives in his creation, but, because of sin, his subjects are only those
                          whom believe in and follow Jesus Christ.
                          [1-a] Because of sin, Satan became the king of the earth – the prince and the power of the air – with a
                                  temporary reign
                          [2-a] Gods kingdom became the heart of his followers. He became the king of their heart and live
                  [d] What is it the bible says?
                          [1-a] We are in this world, but we are not to be a part of this world
                          [2-a] What does this statement mean to you?

  [C] The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed
          [1] What do we know about the mustard seek?
                  [a] It is a small seed,
                  [b] The bible calls it the least of all seeds, but there are seeds that are smaller than it
                          [1-a] I’m thinking maybe what Jesus was referring to here is that the Mustard seed is the smallest of the
                                  seeds that grow into such a large bush        

  [D] A seed which a man took, and sowed in his field
          [1] What does the mustard seed represent?
                  [a] It would represent the gospel
                  [b] It would represent the knowledge of Jesus
                  [c] It would represent the hope of salvation
          [2] The man took it and planted it in his field
                  [a] The man took it, - he found it and determined in his heart to make it grow.
                  [b] He planted it in his field – He realized its importance and determined to have more – to tend to it and      
                          nurture it, so that it would grow, and from that one seed he would have more
          [3] This is the way we are to be with the knowledge of Jesus and with our salvation
                  [a] When we find Jesus, when we find salvation – we ought to plant it in our heart and start to cultivate
                          it                
                  [b] What good is the seed of the gospel is one hides it away and refused to grow it?
                          [1-a] It is no good to yourself
                          [2-a] It is no good to others
                  [c] What good is having a seed, if one refused to plant it, and tend to it as it grows?

Verse 32 - 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.
  
  [A] It is generally agreed that the mustard tree of Scripture is the black mustard. The objection commonly made
          against any sinapis being the plant of the parable is that the reed grew into "a tree," in which the fowls of the air
          are said to come and lodge. As to this objection, it is urged with great truth that the expression is figurative and
          Oriental, and that in a proverbial simile no literal accuracy is to be expected. It is an error, for which the language
          of Scripture is not accountable, to assert that the passage implies that birds "built their nests" in the tree: the
          Greek word has no such meaning; the word merely means "to settle or rest upon" anything for a longer or shorter
          time; nor is there any occasion to suppose that the expression "fowls of the air" denotes any other than the
          smaller insessorial kinds--linnets, finches, etc. Hiller's explanation is probably the correct one,--that the birds
          came and settled on the mustard-plant for the sake of the seed, of which they are very fond. Dr. Thomson also
          says he has seen the wild mustard on the rich plain of Akkar as tall as the horse and the rider. If, then, the wild
          plant on the rich plain of Akkar grows as high as a man on horseback, it might attain to the same or a greater
          height when in a cultivated garden. The expression "which is indeed-the least of all seeds" is in all probability
          hyperbolical, to denote a very small seed indeed, as there are many seeds which are smaller than mustard. The
          Lord in his popular teaching," says Trench ("Notes on Parables", 108), "adhered to the popular language;" and
          the mustard-seed was used proverbially to denote anything very minute; or may mean that it was the smallest of
          all garden seeds, which it is in truth.
  
  [B] What does all this mean?
          [1] When one receives the lord, one does not hid him away, instead, like the man who planted the mustard seed,
                  he cultivates what he has to grow it into something larger
                  [a] How do we do this?
          [2] Like the mustard seed, which grows into a large plant, birds can sit in
                  [a] Our faith must grow into a large and fruitful thing in us
          [3] Like the mustard plant, grows seed, by which other plants can grow
                  [a] We must grow our faith and hope into seeds that we can share with other so that they to can receive a
                          seed and plant it and it too will grow  
          [4] Mustard seed faith begins when we receive the gospel, and believe on Jesus
                  [a] We hear, and we receive what we hear
                  [b] We believe and we act upon our beliefs
                  [c] The seed is planted and we begin to cultivate it
                  [d] As we read study and yearn to grow in our faith, the plant grows into a large bush        
                  [e] As others see our faith, they desire to have the peace and understanding we have
                  [f] Like the birds that sit in the branches eat of the seeds of the plant, we can offer the seeds of salvation
                          others who have been drawn to us
                  [g] Than the process starts over in that person and hopefully is repeated over and over again

Verse 33 - Another parable spake 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.
  
  [A] Here again is the same principle that we just looked at
  
  [B] Leaven is a type of yeast that makes the dough rise into loaves
          [1] Bread is mixed up and yeast is placed in the mixture
          [2] The batter is than set aside until the dough rises.
          [3] Then the dough is baked in the oven and out comes bread
  
  [C] This implies that we are to receive into ourselves the leaven of the gospel
          [1] Unless leaven is put into the bread dough, the bread will be un-leaven and flat, with no fluff and no body        
          [2] Unless the leaven of the gospel is in us, we are nothing less than an empty shell, with no hope and no
                  salvation
  
  [D] We can go a little further and say that the bread is no bread until after it is baked
          [1] Prior to being put into the oven, all you have is bread dough – it is after it is baked that you have bread
          [2] Prior to our being tested, placed into the oven per-say, we are undone – once we face the challenges of live
                  and realize our faith, we become stronger and are able to become a witness for Jesus in this world
  
  [E] After the leaven does its job, and the oven does it’s, the bread is ready to be eaten
          [1] Than the Bread can be shared with others, and can be used to strengthen those around you.
          [2] After our hear has matured in Christ, and we are assured of our faith, than we can become a witness and
                  share with confidence what God had done for us, thereby passing a little leaven on to another to help them
                  grow in a mature Christian

Verse 34-35 - All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
  that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things
  which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
  
  [A] Psalms 78:2-3
          2.   I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
          3.   Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.

  [B] Why did Jesus speak in parables?

  [C] Is speaking in parables a good way to teach?