The Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven
The kingdom of God held a prominent position in Jesus’ teaching from the beginning of His earthly ministry (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:43). He proclaimed that His coming to earth meant that the kingdom of God was at hand. He was inaugurating the kingdom of God in the very midst of His hearers. Accompanying and demonstrating this inauguration were miracles and teaching. His teaching took different forms, but chief among them were parables, which He used to teach His hearers something about the nature of the kingdom. The parables of the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31–32; Mark 4:30–32; Luke 13:18–19) and the leaven (Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:20) reveal something of the mysterious progress and imperceptibility of the kingdom of God. We’ll look briefly at each in turn.