Prayer: O God, lead me through your Word and with your Spirit, in Christ. Amen.
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…
Little things can grow into big things. Like our devotion writer suggests; “Giving to Lutheran World Relief, the United Way, or the Red Cross; volunteering at a nursing home, school, homeless shelter, or food bank; serving on a mission trip; teaching Sunday School; helping with clean-up after a flood or tornado…” and so on. You get the picture. All of these, and others are evidence of God’s kingdom on earth.
A few little seeds, actions, words, all can grow into something big and produce wonderful results. Our devotion writer asks; “Who knows how the impact of simple acts of kindness or service will spread as people pass them along? The kingdom garden grows as we see the face of Jesus in everyone we encounter. It has been said that what we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, help us sow seeds of goodness that blossom and grow in your kingdom, through Christ. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
The Parable of the Yeast
33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
The Use of Parables
34 Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. 35 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth to speak in parables; I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”
Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Treasures New and Old
51 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”