Today I’m preaching on Matthew 13:31-33. The parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” I find it worth noting that the Kingdom is not just a mustard seed. It is a mustard seed planted – buried.
Seemingly insignificant, but if you’ve got the right gardener and patience, it grows exponentially.
Jesus continues with another parable, “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
That word for “mix” is not incorrect, but I think in Greek it has a little more flavor. The word is ἐνέκρυψεν (enekrypsen – from the root egkrypto) from which we get the words “cryptic” “crypt” “encrypt”. Its primary meaning is “hidden”. The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that is buried or hidden in dough.
There’s a lot that could be said about the nature of the Kingdom being buried, hidden, mixed, cryptic, yada yada.
And I’m not much of a baker, but I do know that once the yeast has been activated and incorporated into the dough, you can’t really pull it back out. Nor should you, the yeast makes the bread nice and fluffy.
Maybe there’s a warning in here to a church-body like the LCMS? The more we try to separate ourselves from the rest of the world, for the sake of preserving our “yeastiness” the more we miss the whole point of our being “yeast” in the first place.
You are that thing, hidden throughout the world, that raises up everything else around it. So be you.
Be persistent in the small stuff. That’s the Kingdom. Patient in the hidden stuff. God will grow what He’s sown.