Jesus called for faith in parables

Stories about mustard seed and yeast encouraged and cautioned

Bearing out what Jesus said, here is a bird perching on a mustard plant that has grown to a great size from a tiny seed, symbolizing the value of faith. (Courtesy Photo)

Jesus told the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast not only to show the value of faith but also to warn about the insidiousness of sin.

The Revs. Bill Hutto and Jesus Gomez say those parables or stories illustrated morals or spiritual lessons and they still have universal applications.

They’re in Matthew 13:31-33, Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 13:18-21.

The latter says, “Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree and the birds of the air perched in its branches.’ Again he asked, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked through all the dough.’”

“The meaning is that you don’t have to have a mountain of faith because the mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds,” said the Rev. Hutto, pastor of Sunset Heights Baptist Church. “You just need a little bit of faith and God will do the rest.

“You don’t have a cup of flour and a cup of yeast. It just takes a teaspoonful like a little bit of sin unchecked can damage not only yourself but also the body of Christ.”

Hutto said the Bible “constantly tells us to examine ourselves daily to make sure those small sins that have crept into our lives don’t go unchecked.”

The Rev. Gomez, pastor of New Hope Church, said the parables demonstrate “that small things can have a great impact.

“Small churches sometimes limit themselves to what they don’t have versus looking at how they can use the little they have to impact the community,” he said. “I think we sometimes limit ourselves instead of depending on God to supply our needs for the mission like doing good deeds toward the end of the year.

“Any person can have a great impact on other people’s lives. It could be a neighbor or somebody at a store and we have to keep our eyes open to those needs.”

Gomez said he had preached about the mustard seed “to focus on what God gives us for his purposes and for the growth of other people.

“Jesus said in Matthew 17:20-21 that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you could tell a mountain to move over and it would do so,” he said. “We just have to believe God for what he is going to do instead of trying to control him for what we want him to do.

“We may have this notion that God is not concerned about our needs, but we should cast all our anxieties on him because he knows what we need and he cares for us.”