Saturday

“What is the Kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it?” (v. 18)

Luke 13:18-21 Saturday 30 June 2018

Psalm: Psalm 94:14-23


Background

The question in verse 18 comes as an explanation to what has just happened before - a woman who had been crippled and marginalised for 18 years was healed by Jesus on a Sabbath. This comparison (not a rigid definition) sets the way of the kingdom – it brings a story of transformation and new beginnings.

The parable of the mustard seed (verses 18-19) has parallels in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark (Matthew 13:31-33; Mark 4:30-32). This shorter version starts in the darkness of the ground in the garden. There, in the absence of light, the sown seed grew and became a tree. Darkness allowed for transformation that led to service and hospitality (“and the birds of the air made nests in its branches” (v. 19)).

The parable of the yeast (verses 20-21) follows a similar analogy, reminding us of the presence of the kingdom in its insignificant beginnings but having powerful repercussions and changes. The verb used in verse 21, ekrypsen, says that the woman ‘hid’ not ‘mixed’ the yeast in the flour (NKJV, ESV). The verb implies secrecy and, with a touch of humour, suggests that even if the enemies of the kingdom seek to conceal it (by hiding the yeast in a considerable amount of dough), it will eventually leaven the whole lump!

God’s kingdom is here and now, in a very organic and irrepressible way. Have faith: the seeds we plant daily and the small steps we take in our lives are about to change the world!


To Ponder

  • With your 21st-century mind in place, what would you say God’s kingdom is like? To what should you compare it?
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