Parable of the Mustard Seed, Yeast and Others Explained–Matthew 13

Parable of the Mustard Seed — Matthew 13:31-32

31 He proposed another parable to them. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’

Parable of the Yeast — Matthew 13:33

33 He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

Explanation of Yeast in ‘Parable of the Yeast’:

Relatively small amounts of leaven, when mixed with flour, make an entire loaf of bread rise. Christians are compared to yeast, or leaven, for the effect they have on the world. (CCC 897-903, 928-930)

More Parables — Matthew 13:44-53

44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.  When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.  Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.  When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.  Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

Explanation of ‘More Parables’:

The first two of the last three parables of the discourse have the same point. The person who finds a buried treasure and the merchant who finds a pearl of great price sell all that they have to acquire these finds; similarly, the one who understands the supreme value of the Kingdom gives up whatever he must to obtain it. The joy with which this is done is made explicit in the first parable, but it may be presumed in the second also. The concluding parable of the fishnet resembles the explanation of the parable of the weeds with its stress upon the final exclusion of evil persons from the Kingdom.

Treasures New and Old — [Parable Dialogue Continued…] 

51 “Do you understand all these things?” Jesus asked. They answered, “Yes.” 52 And He replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” 53 When Jesus finished these parables, He went away from there.

Explanation of the Treasures New and Old:

While the Twelve disciples are in many ways representative of all who believe in Him, they are also distinguished from them in certain respects. The church of Matthew has leaders among whom are a group designated as “scribes (Matt. 23:24). Like the scribes of Israel, they are teachers. It is the Twelve Disciples and these their later counterparts to whom this verse applies. The scribe…instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven knows both the teaching of Jesus (the new) and the law and prophets (the old) and provides in his own teaching both the new and the old as interpreted and fulfilled by the new.

The Truth, which is the greatest of all treasures, can only be known through the Holy Spirit. These similes symbolize the search for Truth and the joy in finding it. Those who respond to Christ’s invitation to the Kingdom of Heaven will find the Truth, while those who do not do so will remain puzzled by the parables [Word of God] He preached. (CCC 546)