Matthew 13:31–43 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 4:30-34; Luke 13:18-21)
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.”
Jesus takes the opportunity to describe the kingdom of heaven in terms of contrast and growth. In this part of today’s writing, Jesus contrasts the size of the mustard seed (granular, almost like sand) with the size of the mustard tree (8 to 10 feet in height, spreading branches). This growth from tiny to large is indicative of how the kingdom of heaven will expand, but also how it will make room for many, just like the birds of the air can make a nest in the branches of the mustard tree.
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:
“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
The second parable of this passage relates to the pervasiveness of the kingdom of heaven. Like, yeast, the kingdom will pervade the earth and spread to every region, tribe, tongue. The kingdom will prevail and the gospel will be preached. Jesus again describes why He speaks in parables, so that those who will and can hear will understand, and those who are resistant or dull to the gospel will not.
Give ear to the truth of God’s word. What He has to say can transform your life. His word is life. His kingdom will prevail over time and all other kingdoms. Be on the right side!