Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven—Matthew 13:31-35


The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven,

and Prophecy and Parables

Matthew 13:31-35

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture.
  6. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. These two parables may have their background in the Hebrew Bible as we find similar themes in Ez. 17:22-24.
  8. A mustard seed had the reputation of being the smallest of seeds, yet when fully grown would average between 8 and 12 feet high and strong enough birds built nests there.
  9. Then, as a companion parable, Jesus speaks of leaven, or yeast, that is worked into dough and causes that dough to rise and expand.
  10. Jesus commonly used parables when speaking to crowds, for reasons not stated in Scripture. We assume that He intended for the parables to be more easily recalled than if He simply lectured as was the common manner of teaching.
  11. Matthew then quotes a passage from Psalm 78, verse 2, that helps explain why Jesus spoke in parables. We note that Matthew quotes from the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, the LXX and not from the Hebrew version.
  12. As in the case of the parables of the sower, the weeds, and the net, where Jesus gives an interpretation of His parables, for most of them however, He does not give one. At least the Gospel writers do not give interpretations if in fact Jesus did do so.
  13. The primary point of the parables, historically and contemporaneously, is that Jesus is giving assurance to His disciples that despite appearances, the kingdom of God will grow. Take heart, He is saying, keep sowing the Word.

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