While the crowds were still present, Jesus told them two stories to illustrate how our awareness of God’s kingdom often grows gradually here on earth (71).
“A farmer takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. It’s a very small seed, but when it grows up, it’s a very big plant – so big that all kinds of birds can come and make their nests in its branches!”
Then, Jesus told them the second story: “A woman takes some yeast, mixes it with a bushel of flour & lets it rest until the whole batch of dough rises.”
(Jesus regularly used stories to teach the crowds. This made true what a prophet had said about him long before, “I will use stories when I speak to them, and I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world.” Whenever he was alone with his students, he would explain the stories to them.)
Then, Jesus told the crowd a story to illustrate how God’s people respond when they are suddenly overwhelmed with the real presence of God. “A man unexpectedly finds a treasure hidden in a field, and he is very happy to have found this treasure. So he covers it up again, goes & sells everything he has, and then returns & buys that field!”
Next, Jesus told the crowd another story to illustrate how God’s people respond when they are gradually overwhelmed with the real presence of God. “A man is looking for fine pearls, and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes & sells everything he has and then he buys that pearl!”
(71) Matthew 13:44-46, Mark 4:30-34