Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 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.”
Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Jesus went to synagogue on that Sabbath day where He healed the crippled woman. When the synagogue leader rebuked Him for healing her on the Sabbath day, He made the synagogue leaders look like the hypocrites they were, humiliating them before their congregation and then says to the congregation, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?”
One must admit that there wasn’t much of a transition between dressing down the synagogue leaders and then asking a couple of rhetorical questions that have nothing whatsoever to do with anything that has been going on. I would imagine that heads were spinning on that fine day…
So were the people still delighted, or were they confused?
Maybe I’m the one who is confused!
He gives two short mini-parables: First, a man plants a tiny mustard seed in his garden that grew into such a large bush or tree even, that birds could perch in its branches; so tiny became so large. Second, a woman put some yeast into a whole lot of flour, and the yeast grew throughout the flour so that it could be made into a great deal of bread.
Yes, the Kingdom is just like that!
In both cases, something that is comparatively small, tiny in fact grows into something surprisingly large; and that is what the kingdom of God is like. On that Sabbath Jesus went to the synagogue in the town of… well I guess Luke didn’t bother to mention the name of the town. While there, He healed a crippled woman whose name was… well I guess that really isn’t all that important for us to know. He was rebuked by the synagogue leader named… I guess it doesn’t matter what his name was, and then Jesus exposed the sheer hypocrisy of their traditions and in the process planted a tiny little seed.
Two thousand years later, we are still reading about this minor event involving unnamed people in a nowhere place, a story that has been read and studied by billions of people.
My how that tiny little seed has grown!