Father in heaven, I am grateful for the gift of another day. Where you lead, may I gladly follow.
Read Matthew 13:24–35
The Parable of the Weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[b]
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Your kingdom come ... on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10). As you pray these words, consider what signs of God’s kingdom you see around you.
Here we have three more parables which focus on what this kingdom of heaven is like, or what it can be compared to. The parables of the mustard seed and the yeast come together as a pair, both emphasizing the small beginnings and slow but certain growth of Jesus’ kingdom. The yeast eventually permeates the dough (v 33); the mustard seed eventually grows (v 32). The disciples must have felt at times that what they were participating in was inconsequential, especially considering how their experience of Jesus differed from the political and religious expectations of a triumphant Messiah. So the contrast between the tiny, buried seed and the sheltering tree it becomes is reassuring (v 32). If you’re finding it hard to see God working, trust that he is, even in imperceptible ways.
Psalm 78:2 (quoted in v 35) is a historical psalm showing God’s perseverance with a disbelieving people – still relevant when Jesus was teaching, as well as today. Its inclusion here is an example of how the writer of Matthew views the whole Old Testament with prophetic potential, pointing towards Jesus. By using parables to teach, Jesus is fulfilling prophecy as well as revealing previously hidden mysteries about his identity and God’s salvation plan.
Where do you feel you have seen seeds of God’s kingdom planted that don’t seem to be growing? Pray again for those situations or people.
Lord, show me the ways in which I can make the world a better place. Help me to light candles of hope and change my world.
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