18 Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19 It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.”
20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? 21 It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
S - Scripture
18 and 20 - What is the Kingdom of God like?
O - Observation
I am grouping these two short parables together not because of their length or their proximity in the Bible, but because they both start with the same question: What is the Kingdom of God like? Have you ever wondered what the Kingdom of God is like?
It takes between 725 to 760 mustard seeds to make a gram, but the mustard plant can grow nearly ten feet tall. The little seed grows into a large plant where birds from all directions nest. Barclay notes there is room in the Kingdom of Heaven for people with a variety of beliefs, experiences, ways of worship. It is available to all kinds of people and people from all nations. Small beginnings are powerful and will change the character of everything around it.
The Greek word Luke uses for "put in" as translated in the NLT is ekrypsen which literally means "to hide." The Greek reader sees this as a humorous event. The woman hides the yeast in the flour. Like that is really going to work. The flour blows up like a big marshmallow in a microwave. Like the yeast, the Kingdom of God is irresistible and powerful. The enemy may seek to hide it, but the yeast will eventually reveal itself.
A - Application
I have been thinking a lot about The Water's Edge launching our new 9:00 worship experience in September. It will probably be a small start, just like the launch almost four years ago. But small beginnings can yield big results. We had over 800 people present on Easter Sunday. The other day I mailed out 41 Kindergarten graduation cards to the kindergartener students at The Water's Edge. We only had twice that many people less than four years ago! Great things can happen from small beginnings because the Kingdom of Heaven is irresistible and powerful!
On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne started a little business. On January 3rd, 1977, Wayne sold his interest in the company for $800. Thirty-four years later, Apple Computer is one of the largest makers of computers, phones, music devices, and music. It one of the most influential companies in the world. Small beginnings. Big results.
P - Prayer
God, keep revealing Your Kindgom to me. I want to be a planter of seeds. I want to watch these seeds grow into mature plants where people from all walks of life nest and share in your joy and peace. I want to be faithful in the little things and experience You doing big things. Help me embrace small beginnings and enjoy the fruits of big results. Amen.