When Jesus began his ministry, rumors began to spread that he may be the Messiah. Many of the things he was doing seemed to match the description of what people thought the Messiah should do: teach with authority, heal, stand up for the vulnerable, etc. But one of the biggest expectations people had of the Messiah concerned power: that the Messiah would overthrow the Romans and bring the Kingdom of God through dramatic revolution, quickly changing the order of things for the good of God’s people.
Jesus told stories to help people see (if they were willing to see) that he was not the kind of Messiah they had in mind, and God’s Kingdom is not the kind of Kingdom they had in mind. With the parable of the Seed and the Leaven, Jesus explains that the Kingdom of God is indeed a force of power that can have dramatic impact in the world, but it is a small, unexpected, un-dramatic power. The power of the Kingdom is like a seed, not like a stick of dynamite; it’s like yeast, not like a bomb.
This Sunday, we’ll unpack a lot of implications for this power of the Kingdom and how it can be at work in our lives-- personally, communally, and even at a societal level. But above all, we’ll see that Jesus is ultimately describing himself: that though a crucified Savior is an utterly impressive Messiah, he is the only One that brings hope and life to the whole world. The smallest seed produces the biggest tree.
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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.”