Jesus begins presenting pictures of the transition to heaven. He uses some vivid examples to assist His followers in understanding what lies ahead. The first picture is one of Heaven being like a mustard seed. One need only see the very small mustard seed to think it a forgettable thing. Still, as Jesus reminds us, it grows into a tree that is big enough to be a community for birds to live in and be supported. Jesus reminds us that our faith is the same. While the beginnings are humble, the growth over time is amazing and as we mature in Christ, we not only become mature in Him; but we also support the growth of the community of believers and become a source of strength and shelter for others.
Next, He likens Heaven to yeast. Yeast seems harmless enough on its own, but as we work it through the flour, it becomes the agent of growth for loaves and loaves of bread and sustenance for many people. It is like our influence on the kingdom. If we remain faithful, the spirit will work through us and use us to grow and be a part of the spread of Christ throughout our world. Like the yeast, His spirit raises the lives of men and makes them priceless change agents and ambassadors for the Lord.
Finally, Jesus speaks to the personal nature of our walk with God. He uses the picture of a narrow gate. Not everyone will enter heaven. When they are not admitted, the people will complain that they were the folks you were preaching at all the time. Jesus will answer, “OK, but I never knew you, and I have no clue of your intentions.” These are hard words. Jesus requires us to invest our lives into our faith and know Him personally. We live our lives following His lead. As we do, we will know Him personally. Revelation 3:20 says it best, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door–i will come in and sup with him and he with Me.” In the culture of that time, breaking bread was the sign of friendship and relationship. Unless the relationship is personal, there is no trust or commitment. The national relationship of Israel to God was simply not sufficient to know God. Jesus calls us to know Him personally–not simply knowing who He is, but, knowing His heart and desire to love and care for us.
Jesus paints three amazing pictures of what we need to know about God and Heaven. As we trust Him, we will grow, minister, and build a relationship that carries us to eternity.
God Bless You
18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
The Narrow Door
22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.