All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

Parable of the mustard seed and yeast

Dear Friends, In Matthew 13:31-35 there are 2 parables - the mustard seed and the yeast and both are not easy to interpret. The popular interpretation of the first parable of the mustard seed is that the Kingdom of God grows from humble beginnings into something good and great which provides refuge for the birds. There is much to commend this view. However there are some jarring notes. A mustard seed doesn’t grow into a large tree even though the seed is small. Also the birds in the parable of the sower were symbols of the devil. Further in the OT there is a picture of a tree representing a king and that is Nebuchadnezzar - see Daniel 4:20-21. The tree represented his arrogance and finally he was chopped down. Jesus may be saying that on earth the church can appear big and successful but it may not be. The second parable about yeast also has a jarring note because yeast is usually a symbol of evil - see 1 Cor 5:6-9. So if this view is followed then we are reminded that the church will never be perfect on earth. That gives a more realistic view and helps us to love the church despite all its failing. The church shows signs of the Kingdom of God but is not totally synonymous because it is a mixture of good and evil. Please reflect further. God’s Blessing Rev David O'Mara