Text: Matt 13:31-33; 44-52
Jesus told this story about the mustard seed at a time when he was already becoming quite unpopular with the Jewish faith community of the time. Then He compared the kingdom of God with things that were worthless or even viewed as garbage in their society! The use of both mustard seed and yeast were regulated in Jewish households: Mustard plants could take over the garden by their rampant growth if not controlled, and every piece of yeast had to be removed before Passover.
When Jesus mentioned these two things in one story, everyone listened. Jesus had their full attention! What He wanted them to hear was this: The kingdom of heaven comes through one more insignificant child that is born, but this child is born in a stable. An insignificant new life that is not welcomed by society becomes the Saviour of the whole world.
These two parables made it clear that the Kingdom of God would not be initiated by an impressive display of power as the Jews expected. Rather, it would start small, through the life and teaching of Jesus. In spite of its small beginning, it would eventually reach the whole world, and the broken people of this world would find shelter in the shade of the mustard shrub.
In the parable we also hear how a small amount of yeast has a huge effect. This happens invisibly, unseen. As the yeast works without being seen, but eventually leavens everything, so too is the Kingdom of God. It is a silent power that is not always visible, but eventually becomes unstoppable.
I often feel overwhelmed and helpless when confronted by the enormous challenges and pain of this broken world. I experience this Saturday after Saturday when those who mourn stand beside open graves; when children without parents queue in long rows for a cup of soup and a slice of bread. I see it in the eyes of an elderly congregation member whose son had AIDS and died at 40, because no one spoke about the disease and the family were ignored and she still can’t share her sorrow with the congregation.
Maybe, like me, you need to hear again that a simple loving gesture, like a bit of food or compassion, could have a much greater impact than you can dream… Maybe you need to hear that God can use a small amount of correct information to change a life….Maybe you also need to hear again that the Kingdom of God becomes unstoppable through the simple and unimpressive things that you are busy with every day.
May He grant us the grace not to become overwhelmed – God will not allow the establishment of His Kingdom to be stopped