The Mustard Seed and the Yeast 

Kingdom Sermons

Matthew 13: 31-35


Introduction: This is a sermon about how “little is much

when God is in it”  The Kingdom of God isn’t so much about 

Grand Beginnings as it is about Growing Blessings. 

The New Living Translation of the Jewish scripture: Zechariah 4:10

says: “Do not despise these small beginnings, 

                        for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,”       

                                      Today we hear what Jesus had to say  

                                                       about small beginnings.

 

A. The Often Tiny Initiation of the Kingdom

1. The prayer of faith doesn’t waste a lot of time telling God 

how large your problems are – It goes to work telling your 

                                             problems how large your God is. 

 

Jesus wanted to teach that we shouldn’t be dismayed by 

small beginnings. So he likened the start of the Kingdom of 

                             God in someone’s life to a small seed 

31 He told them another parable: 

             “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,

                        which a man took and planted in his field.” 

 

Remind us how big is a mustard seed?   (hold up a ruler) 

There are 23 Cms on this ruler  

THAT is one Cm. 

          There are ten millimeters in that 1 centimeter.  

                                 A mustard seed is one millimeter across. 

When Jesus said:  “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard 

seed,” He was saying God’s work starts small. Ah but … 

“Little is much when God is in it! 

            Labor not for wealth or fame.” 

 

Working with small things for big results 

is a pattern you will find all over the bible:

 •Moses' rod delivered a nation from Egypt 

 

•The jawbone of an ass in Samson's hand was a mighty weapon 

 

•Five smooth stones felled the giant Goliath 

 

•The handful of meal and a jar of oil that sustained a widow through years of famine 

 

•Five barley loaves and a couple fish fed a multitude

 

 Remember this.  A mighty oak tree happened 

                             when a tiny little nut held its ground. 

 

2. The kingdom of God spreads quickly like a pinch of yeast. 

(33) He told them still another parable: 

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast. 

May I remind you how yeast works: 

yeast makes bread dough rise because 

it is a live, single-celled, fungus organism. 

       It starts to eat the flour. As the fungus is feasting, 

        it begins to release gas bubbles of carbon dioxide, and 

        small amounts of ethanol alcohol. 

                 These bubbles, trapped in the bread dough, cause 

                 the rising action.  Get it? 

Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of God is spiritual life that 

comes into the spiritual deadness of our lives. 

           Is it OK for this preacher to suggest that the Kingdom 

                 of God comes into you to start nibbling away at 

                      the deadness to produce more and more life?!

 

The start of God’s work in your life almost always has a 

small feel to it - give it faith plus obedience and 

                          it will grow grow grow !! 

So the first point this morning is The Often Tiny Initiation 

of the Kingdom  and now for the last point: 

 

B. The Obvious Timeless Influence of the Kingdom

1. You weren't made just for you. 

           The kingdom is always about a world far bigger than 

                     the circumference of your ambitions and plans. 

When the kingdom grips a life that person becomes ....

a blessing to others (32) Though it is the smallest of all seeds, 

                                     yet when it grows, it is the largest of 

                              garden plants and becomes a tree, so that

                              the birds come and perch in its branches.”

 

When I read that, I dwell on the last part.  The So that!

The kingdom life spills blessing over to others.  

That is the great lesson of a man named Mr. Kimball of 

Boston - surely you have heard of him!?  

No?   

Anybody here? 

 

 

A Sunday School teacher, Mr. Kimball, invested his life in 

the lives of others Mr. Kimball, in 1858, led a Boston shoe 

                                                  clerk to give his life to Christ. 

  The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist. 

       In England in 1879, he awakened evangelistic zeal in 

       the heart of Fredrick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church. 

F. B. Meyer, preaching to an American college campus, 

brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman. 

        Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former  

        baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work. 

 

Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, N.C. A group of 

local men were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned 

another evangelistic campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to 

town to preach. 

          During Hamm's revival, a young man named Billy 

          Graham heard the gospel and yielded his life to Christ. 

 

Billy Graham has a son named Franklyn who last year preached in 

all 50 States calling Christians to get prayerfully 

engaged in our country and he has touched millions of 

                                      children in the third world with those 

                                      Christmas boxes you send.  

 

Now what do you think of Mr Kimbell? 

Does the place you’re called to labor seem 

    too small and little known? It is great if God is in it

                       But hear this too: what God does through you 

                       is less important than what God does IN you. 

 

2. The influence of the kingdom is a spread to the whole of 

life 33 like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about 

                      sixty pounds of flour until 

                            it worked all through the dough.”

              “All through….”   

 

That is the nature of the kingdom.  It may start with just your 

Sunday mornings but it intends more.., much more.  You 

start showing up at a weekday bible study. You start thinking 

about God on other days too.  

 

All through.  That is the nature of the kingdom. It may start 

with giving a few dollars in the plate.  Next thing you find 

yourself giving a tenth in one of those little envelopes.  

Watch out! Before you know it you start thinking that all 

your money is really God's. He just lets you administer it. 

 

 

All through.  That is the nature of the kingdom. It begins 

when you read a verse from the Bible and find you like it. 

Before long you have collected a few of those verses.  Oh oh 

- next thing we catch you reading a whole chapter now and 

then.  After a while you are found reading the Bible every 

day. 

That's the kingdom - the dough works to expand into 

                                  the whole sixty pounds 

 

Conclusion:  Does the place you’re called to labor Seem too small 

and little known? It is great if God is in it, And He’ll not forget His 

own. Little is much when God is in it! Labor not for wealth or fame. 

There’s a crown—and you can win it, 

 

When a few people saw an old broken down youth camp in 

Hunterdon County they dreamed of a place where 100 addicted 

people could be helped at a time – they didn’t despise small beginnings!  

 

When a rabbi and a preacher believed there could be a clinic 

for people who couldn’t afford dental work they started with 

a dream and a letter to congress - they didn’t despise small beginnings!  

 

When a lady named Joan felt there should be a place where 

desperate pregnant moms who had no place to live could be housed – 

she started with a broken building that the bums had stripped bare. 

She didn’t despise small beginnings!  

 

Have you been praying for someone? 

Well don’t you dare despise small beginnings!  

That’s how the kingdom works.