with the Word online Bible study: small things


Luke 13.18-21

Jesus asked, “What is God’s kingdom like? To what can I compare it? It’s like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in a garden. It grew and developed into a tree and the birds in the sky nested in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what can I compare God’s kingdom? It’s like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through the whole.”


What caught your attention in this reading? What made you wonder or have a question?

When you read this (try reading it aloud to hear it differently!), what images, music, or other scenes float into your mind?

Think about your week or your day. How does this scripture connect with what is going on in your own life?

The mustard bush is an invasive species–it takes over all the space in the garden and drives out other things. People tried to avoid getting mustard seeds in their garden. Why do you think Jesus uses this example to talk about the kingdom of God?

Similarly, yeast (or “leaven”) was reserved for non-holy breads. During festivals and holy days, only unleavened bread was allowed. So the kingdom of God is like yeast that corrupts the whole bushel of flour and makes it unholy? Why this metaphor? What does this tell us about the kingdom of God?

Both the mustard seed (the smallest of the seeds) and yeast (tiny!) are small things that change everything. They’re barely visible, you can’t see them working, until suddenly the whole garden or the whole bushel of flour is changed. How is that like the kingdom of God?

What is something small that you can do that will make a big difference in your faith or life? Or how can your life be like yeast, growing the kingdom of God in the world around you?


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