Frantic Friday?

The Explore Team | 14 Mar 2015

We live in the day of the corporation—the way to get it is through slick advertising, bold slogans, innovative marketing. And then there’s the kingdom of God…


Why is the kingdom not like Coke or Nike—big, successful, all-conquering? What has been going on for the 2,000 years between the time Jesus came to establish the kingdom and the time we live in?


18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”


20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Luke 13:18-21


Jesus compares the kingdom to a tiny mustard seed (v 19).


  • Though it starts small, what does the seed become (v 19)?
  • By using this comparison, what is Jesus telling us about God’s kingdom?


The “birds of the air” is a picture of the world’s nations (see Ezekiel 17:22-24).


  • Why is the end of verse 19 exciting for those of us who are not part of Israel?
  • What happens to the leaven (v 21)?
  • What is Jesus telling us about God’s kingdom?


In the first picture, the kingdom is like a man planting a seed in his garden—Jesus, coming to His world at a particular point in history to begin the growth of His kingdom, before returning to heaven. In the second, the kingdom is like a woman working at spreading leaven—yeast—through dough. Again, it’s a picture of Jesus, working by His Spirit throughout history to continue the growth of His kingdom, before returning from heaven. Jesus is in charge both of the start and the spread of the kingdom of God. And, like a growing seed or yeast introduced into dough, the kingdom’s progress is irreversible and unstoppable.


  • Jesus’ contemporaries expected the kingdom to come suddenly and decisively. Today, we can often expect the same. How do Jesus’ comparisons challenge this view?


Jesus’ kingdom grows—gradually, unseen, unstoppably. Thank Him that He is sovereign over His kingdom and His world!