FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS
I come into Your presence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Blessed Holy Trinity.
Read LUKE 13:18–21
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Little changes can somehow have big effects” (Malcom Gladwell). Such is the kingdom of God!
These two parables follow immediately after yesterday’s healing of the “daughter of Abraham” (16) and must be understood in that context. Her healing in a backwater synagogue may seem inconsequential when compared to world events, but Jesus points to this as part of the kingdom revolution that has already begun. Almost unnoticed, the seed has been planted and the yeast is in the dough. “The small beginning is an earnest of certain victory” (I. Howard Marshall, 1934–2015).
Jesus asks, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?” (18). Set against the immensity of Rome with its pomp and military power, this kingdom may seem inept and impotent. From a tiny synagogue in a small country on the eastern fringe of the Roman Empire, the kingdom of God represents no apparent threat to the current world order, especially when described in terms of a mustard seed and yeast. Yet at the heart of these simple and deliberately chosen images lies the potency of a relentless kingdom!
The mustard seed represents the potential of the kingdom. Within the tiny seed is the genetic material for a whole plant. It will grow to a tree at least 10 feet in height and have the strength to house the birds of the air. The yeast represents the penetration of the kingdom. For the yeast to transform the dough, it must be worked into the core of the dough and become one with the mixture. Mixed in, it seems to disappear, but, in time, it works through all of the dough. The power of the kingdom is manifest when it penetrates its world and releases its potential.
Your influence may seem small and inconsequential, but plant the seed, deposit the yeast and let the kingdom do its work!
Gracious God, I marvel that with You working in me and through me, I can make a difference. Never let me forget that.
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