It is obvious from Jesus’ teachings concerning His Kingdom, that He expected dramatic and extraordinary growth. One of the many illustrations of this is the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32. The mustard seed is one of the smallest of seeds, but when planted, grows larger than all the other garden plants which have larger seeds. The end result of the tiny mustard seed is a tree large enough that “birds of the air come and make nests in its branches”. This is not understood or seen by the world “because of their unbelief” (13:58).
Jesus continues this teaching in verse 33 by using a “word picture”, comparing the gospel to being planted into a culture as yeast is to being mixed into a large amount of dough. The whole batch of dough is impacted from within by the yeast. Notice that it was “hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened”.
In the first analogy, we see the principle of extraordinary growth that comes from planting the gospel in this world. In the second we see how the kingdom of heaven, the gospel of God’s grace, will permeate and have vast influence even though it is small and hid in the lives of believers. Neither of these principles will be seen in our lives and ministry unless we know the power of God in His Word and what the Spirit can do with it. That is why we continually remind you to RETURN TO THE SCRIPTURES!
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