Jason Helopoulos / Dec 15, 2019 / Matthew 13:31-35
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
In Sunday’s sermon, Jason taught on the two parables found in Matthew 13:31-35 – the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven. Both have much to teach us about the Kingdom of Heaven.
1 The Kingdom has small beginnings but grows exponentially. The mustard seed is a favorite of Jesus for object lessons. He uses it here to illustrate the Kingdom. He uses it four chapters later to illustrate the disciples’ faith. The Jews understood that the Kingdom would be great, but they did not understand that it would start out so small. Jesus is encouraging his disciples here as he knows that wrong expectations can shipwreck one’s faith. The disciples are being sent out to proclaim a Kingdom that will start out small, and he is preparing them for it with right expectations.
2 God uses small and seemingly weak things to accomplish Kingdom purposes. We see this all through scripture: Israel was a small and weak nation; Moses was slow of speech; David was the youngest son; Jesus the child king was born in a stable; the witnesses to the resurrection were women; the disciples were uneducated common men entrusted with spreading the gospel through the folly of preaching. Why does God do it this way? Because the weaker the instrument the more magnified is the one using it.
3 The Kingdom seems weak itself but mightily impacts the world it is in. We see this in the second parable of the leaven. A small amount works entirely through the dough. Whereas the parable of the mustard seed is about the Kingdom’s extent, this parable is about its intensity. The Kingdom, like leaven, is pervasive. While the church’s one job is narrow – to make disciples – the disciple’s job is broad: we are to be salt and light in the world. In fact, many of our enemies today have concerns that have become concerns through the efforts of Christians being salt and light. Things like women’s rights and suffrage, literacy, health and education, child labor laws, and the abolition of slavery are just a few effects of the Kingdom of God moving forward. The small things we do can impact the world because we have a great God.
And just as the Kingdom of God on earth begins small and grows, so the Kingdom of God grows in our hearts until it dominates.