Scripture: Matthew 13:31-35 [NLT]
31 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, 32 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.”
33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
Observation: (What do you hear and see when you read this scripture?)
I see Jesus speaking to a group of people, sharing with them the meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven, once again using things that they are familiar with to demonstrate a higher truth.
A mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds, but it produces one of the largest “trees” capable of sheltering birds and providing food for many. We can be that mustard seed, if we allow Jesus to plant the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we are led by the Holy Spirit we can affect other lives and help to spread the love of Jesus to more and more. The same idea is true of the leaven in bread, or yeast.
It is very interesting to me that Jesus used a symbol here which commonly was used to symbolize sin, as a symbol for the working of the Holy Spirit. Maybe this was not by accident. Sin, if left unchecked can and will permeate our whole lives as will the Holy Spirit if allowed. One leads to destruction, the other leads to life. Both seem to work in some ways the same…but the intent of one is polar opposite of the other.
We also learn here that Jesus is fulfilling another prophecy which foretold that he would use parables to teach. More evidence to those around Him and His disciples that He was the Messiah.
Apply: (How can you apply what you have read to your life today?)
All too often I let the leaven run freely in my life which is not the Holy Spirit. I have done it enough that it starts to permeate everything I do. It makes me neglect my time with Jesus. It makes me seek self indulgence more and to spend less time thinking of others. It is easy. I need to seek the proper leaven in my life. I need the Holy Spirit to fill me up. Sometimes, when I get to church on the Sabbath it’s like finally coming up for air…finally a place where I can rest from the world. The bible studies I attend work in much the same way. They represent time in my life when I am surrounding myself with the Holy Spirit.
I realize that I cannot keep going back and forth with this. I need to find a way to have the Holy Spirit in my life daily and continuously. I need to stop neglecting my time with Him in the mornings. This will be a good start.
Prayer: (Let Him know what you think, feel and need.)
You are the Creator of all things. This means to me that You have the power over all things, even the enemy of my soul. Please protect me from that enemy. Help me to seek You daily and to dwell in Your presence moment by moment. Being on again and off again is getting hard.
I give You my life. Take it and make it what will glorify You. Forgive me sins Lord, for they are many.
Thank You for all that You provide. Continue to watch over and protect my children. Provide a path for them that leads to You. Amen.
- The Mustard Seed (truehumanist.wordpress.com)