Jesus compares the kingdom of God first to a mustard seed. The mustard seed is not the smallest seed in the world, but it is very small and was probably the smallest used in Israel at the time. The mustard tree is probably more precisely a very large plant, growing up to heights of about nine feet, and that would make it very firmly rooted as well. The mustard condiment is made from grinding the seeds of the mustard tree. And so, this tree produces a lot of seeds.
The analogy is that His church, which would begin very small, would grow slowly into something world-wide. This is in stark contrast to what people were expecting. They expected it to come swiftly, like a large hammer driving a wedge that would conquer Israel’s foes.
Jesus then compares the kingdom to a little bit of leaven that is hidden in three measures of flour, and it becomes all leavened. There is some difference of opinion as to what is meant here by “three measures.” But some say that quantity would be enough to feed one hundred people, The meaning for us to consider it that a small group of righteous people can have a huge impact on the world.
In verse 23, someone asked Jesus if the number of people that will be saved will be few. Jesus did not directly answer that person, but spoke to those present, saying that many “will seek to enter and will not be able.” He makes the comparison to a master of a house who has shut the door, while others knock – wishing to be let in. This does not mean that many will strive to enter “through the narrow door” and not be able to. Many will wish to enter in once the door is closed (final judgment). Still others, sadly, will believe they can get in though the “broad door” – living their lives as the world entices them to live, rather than striving to please God.
It is a matter of the heart. We often tend to wonder how much sin and worldly pleasure we can get away with and still get through that door. Instead, we should wonder how much more we can learn about the Lord and what pleases him.
(This year’s’ reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.