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Parables of the Mustard Seed and Yeast
(Matt 13:31-33; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-21)

Jesus' sequence of parables on the Kingdom of God

Following the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8) and the Parable of the Weeds (Matt 13:24-30; 36-43), Jesus shares two short parables next: the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matt 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19) and the Parable of the Yeast (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:20-21). What is Jesus saying about the Kingdom of God?


1. As you compare the three accounts of the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matt 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19), what do you see Jesus emphasizing in the figure of speech in comparison to the Kingdom of God? Who is Jesus telling the parable to? If it helps, mark up the passage!

Matthew 13:31-32, ESV
31) He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32) It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."

Mark 4:30-32, ESV
30) And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31) It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32) yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

Luke 13:18-19, ESV
18) He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19) It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."



2. As you observe the two accounts of the Parable of the Yeast (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:20-21), what do you know about leaven / yeast? What is Jesus saying about the Kingdom of God? Who is Jesus talking to?

33) He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened." (Matt 13:33, ESV)

20)And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21) It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened." (Luke 13:20-21, ESV)



3. Sometimes it is worthwhile to evaluate if Jesus is teaching a parable as part of a series of parables on a particular subject. A good example of this is a sequence of parables in Matthew 13 when Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God with: the Parable of the Sower, Parable of Weeds, Parables of the Mustard Seed and Yeast, Parable of the Hidden Treasure and Costly Pearl, and Parable of the Dragnet. As you study each parable, discover what Jesus is saying and whether there is a significance in the order of His presentation. Fill in the row of the Parables of the Mustard Seed and Yeast.

Parable Who hears Jesus' interpretation? What is being emphasized?
1. Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8) Everyone In contrast to Jewish expectations, the kingdom of God was not about political power or land. In His Parable of the Sower, Jesus indicates that the good news of the kingdom will be heard by all kinds of people, but only a small number will hear, understand, accept and have an abundant spiritual life from it.
2. Parable of Weeds (Matt 13:24-30, 36-43)


Disciples In contrast to the Parable of the Sower, the Parable of the Weed presents the seed as either Believers or non-Believers. In a world that contains both Believers and non-Believers, Jesus places an emphasis on His role as Judge deploying His angels to separate non-Believers from Believers before ushering them into the Kingdom of God.
3. Parables of the Mustard Seed and Yeast (Matt 13:31-33; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-21)





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