Barry Newman's Blog

November 2, 2012

The Parable of the Mustard Seed (part II)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus,The parable of the Mustard Seed — barrynewman @ 9:55 pm

The Contexts for the Parable in the Gospels

The context for the parable in Matthew is similar to that for the parable of the sower which occurs before it but is separated from it by the parable of the wheat and the weeds.  Both that parable and this parable are introduced with something like, “He produced another parable for them.”  In Mark it occurs soon after the parable of the sower and the explanation of that parable, but is separated from it by the parable of the patient farmer.  In Luke the context is that of Jesus interacting with some of his opponents. Some endeavour to entrap Jesus by getting him to make a political comment and a synagogue ruler upbraids Jesus because he has healed a woman with a bent back on a Sabbath day.  Both Matthew and Luke follow the parable with the parable of the yeast. Matthew concludes with a comment about Jesus teaching the crowds in parables. Mark makes a similar comment.  Luke moves on from the parable of the yeast to Jesus teaching in cities and villages and relates a conversation about the few that are saved.  For Matthew and Mark the parable sits within a nest of parables about the kingdom.  For Luke, the parable may relate to whether or not one is in the kingdom, as marvellous as the growth of the kingdom is.

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