Wednesday 11 September 2013

Matthew 13:24-43 - More parables

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Matthew 13:24-43 provides accounts of three more parables.

In the first of these Jesus describes how good seed is sown first, but then an enemy sows weeds. Both the wheat and the weeds are allowed to grow to avoid harming the crop, but at harvest time the good and bad are separated and the bad destroyed.

The second is another story about growth. Although at the start a seed may be insignificant, it can give rise to a plant big enough and strong enough to provide shelter for the birds.

And the third story is about yeast, explaining how even a small piece affects a large amount of dough. In those days leavened bread would have been a kind of sour dough process. When baking, a small portion of dough would be retained  for the following day. Mixed with the new dough it would act as a starter; when the new dough had risen and was ready for the oven, another small piece would be set aside and the larger part baked.

The disciples asked Jesus to explain the first parable and he goes through it in detail for them.

Notice how these parables use living processes to open our minds to how the kingdom works. How many different points can you find which Jesus illuminates with ideas from life? There are several in each parable. We learn about growth in competition, the risk of causing harm, development of structure and strength, great results from small beginnings, and more.

Could you use this kind of story-telling with the people you meet. Can you think of parable-like ideas from modern life? The kingdom of heaven is like...

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