Between last week's and this week's Gospel reading, the lectionary skips over some great parables:
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
He said therefore, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.’
The Parable of the Yeast
And again he said, ‘To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’
The Narrow Door
Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us”, then in reply he will say to you, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.”But he will say, “I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west,
from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.’
Why does Jesus choose a weed and a fungus (yeast!) to be a symbol of the kingdom of God?
How is the kingdom hidden but slowly revealed to be bigger than we have imagined?
What does the narrow door story mean? Does it mean that we are to try harder or to try less and trust Jesus more?