The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
The parable of the mustard seed refers to a man while the parable of the leaven refers to a woman so we know that these two parables go together as one, as the man and the woman belong together.
These parables are also positioned next to each other.
If we look at these parables as one, we can see a comparison between the man and the woman. As we mentioned before, we are to be seeking the spiritual meaning.
In scripture, the man represents the head, spirit, or mind while the woman represents the body, the soul, and the emotions.
We can see an example of this in the Gospel of John.
In chapter 3, Jesus speaks to Nicodemus who represents the spirit, while in chapter 4, Jesus confronts the woman at the well who represents the soul.
Nicodemus was not born again and lacked faith in God.
However, Jesus never mentions anything about being born again to the woman. The woman spoke about the things of God but was no longer worshiping God. This represents the soul that has become worldly.
We are both man and woman spiritually because we are both spirit and soul.
There are numerous other examples in scripture; however, the main thing is to understand the spiritual meaning.
The Man and the Mustard Seed
(Mat. 31:32; Mar. 4:30-32)
The man and the mustard seed is about faith.
Jesus said, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you can move a mountain. (Mat. 17:20)
The mountain represents an insurmountable obstacle that can only be removed by faith. Even in the Old Testament, God was separated by a mountain from his people. Without faith, we can not come to God, nor can we overcome the things of the world.
However, if we emphasize faith, (although it is small as a mustard seed
which cannot be readily seen outwardly), it will grow into a large tree and the birds of the air will lodge in the branches.
The Greek word for “lodge” is ““Kataskenoo” and comes from two Greek words. Kata means “under” and skenoo means “tent“.
The man who takes a mustard seed is one who has faith and emphasizes spiritual things. This is speaking about one who abides, resides and walks by faith, because he or she has grown spiritually.
Since the man is a picture of the head, spirit, mind, he or she that is living or abiding in faith is a spiritual person.
The spiritual Christian has the mind of Christ.
The Apostle Paul says
“I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, so then,
with my mind I serve the law of God, with the flesh the law of sin
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
We have the mind of Christ
Thus, if you are spiritual and emphasize faith, there is no obstacle that is too great that cannot be removed.
A person who is walking by faith is not dominated by feelings that comes from the soul.
Feelings of fears, anxiety, sadness, etc. may arise, but is soon
subsided or overcome by the spirit of the mind, that is filled with the
knowledge of the Word of God rightly divided.
This is because the Word of God has entered into the mind, and into the heart of the soul, and the soul (emotions) is subject to the mind.
The body is subject to the head as the church is subject to Christ
and as Christ was subject to the Father. (1 Cor. 11:3)
Of course it depends on big faith or little faith.
Little faith will save you for eternity and big faith
will save you here and now, in difficult situations and any obstacles.
The mustard seed which is very small, and a herb (vegetable),
grew up to be a big tree with branches where the birds of the air can take refuge.
The birds of the air is a general term for “spiritual beings” and can refer to both spiritual Christians and the wickedness in high places. The birds that are taking shelter in the mustard tree refer to spiritual Christians who are gathered together around the one who has grown in faith.
Jesus also said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom
of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took,
and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
Leaven is likened to yeast which makes bread to rise or causes
something (or someone) to be puffed up. It is compared
to the doctrine of the Pharisees which has to do with
a religious system of works. Works is what one must do to be righteous.
Attempting to please God through works, makes one
righteous and causes one to be proud and puffed up.
The result is hypocrisy, malice and wickedness.
The kingdom of heaven is the realm of the spiritual.
The woman which represent the body or a church took,
and hid 3 measures of meal till the whole was leaven.
The Greek word for “meal” is aleuron or flour, which is the basic
ingredients of bread.
Bread speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation.
The three basic ingredients of salvation is:
1. The Cross,
2. Redemption and eternal life (the Gospel of God)
3. The Word of God.
In this parable, there is something added to the three main ingredients.
In other words, there is something added to salvation.
There are many churches that teach salvation by works, or faith plus works, and add to the Gospel of God and the whole becomes leavened, puffed up, pride, evil. This is the doctrine of the Pharisees
The Apostle Paul says, if any other man or even angels preach any other gospel, other then the one of Grace and faith, let him be accursed.
They pervert the Gospel of Christ. (Gal. 1:6-9).
Many Christian churches are emphasizing works after you are saved. Even after you become a Christian, do not teach nor emphasize works to please God.
Works are the result of grace and faith. All is of grace and faith.
God gives to us by His grace and we receive it by faith.
Grace and works do not mix.
Faith is what pleases God and without faith it impossible to please Him.
To add works (leaven) to the gospel of God is to pervert the gospel and is the main teaching regarding the hid leaven.