The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast, Luke 13:18-21
Luis Cruz, GCF Durham
Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a small mustard seed that can grow to become a tree. It is a picture of God’s reign and sovereignty. In His sovereignty God will include, not just the Jews but even the Gentiles to be reconciled with Him. In another way, Jesus compared the kingdom to a yeast that can quietly permeate the flour. It’s an image again of God being able to transform every aspect of the believer’s life.
1. The Kingdom of God is the eternal rule of the Sovereign God.
God’s kingdom has already come but has not been fully revealed yet.
a.) The present aspect.
Psalm 103:19 “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.”
Revelation 1:5 “5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”
John 18:36a, “36 My kingdom is not of this world.”
Acts 17:26, “26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.”
b.) The future aspect.
Matthew 13:47-49, “47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.”
“44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.” Daniel 2:44a
2. The Kingdom of God created a new nation.
In His sovereignty, God created a new nation. A nation that has no religion, nor racial nor gender discrimination, nor social class, nor favoritism. All believers are equal and are united under Christ’s perfect reign.
Luke 13:19, “19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
Ezekiel 17:23. “23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches… Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.”
Philippians 3:20, “20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Galatians 3:28, “28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
3. The Kingdom of God created the work for His people.
We are God’s ambassadors sent to share the gospel. There is so much work to be done until Jesus comes again.
2 Cor. 5:20, “20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
Ephesians 2:10, “10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
4. The Kingdom of God permeates all aspects of the believers’ life.
The yeast permeates every bit of flour it touches, and so with God’s reign in a believer’s life. God transforms our mind, our words, and our deeds to reflect His sovereignty in our lives.
“21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Luke 13:21
Final note: We need to check if God is actually reigning in our lives. If He does, then our minds should be preoccupied with the things of God. Our daily conversations, including gospel conversations, should be marked by His grace, and mercy.