Sabbath Meditation #42 – The Sabbath Parables of Jesus (Part 1 of 2)
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
Jesus taught many parables, but some of them were delivered on the Sabbath. It is fascinating that He chose the seventh day to reveal these truths. Jesus was known for saying and doing things at just the right time (Luke 4:14-30). God and Christ are intentional in everything They do.
In Luke 13:10-16, we learn about the crippled woman who was healed on the Sabbath. Just after this miraculous event, Jesus told two parables:
“He said, ‘What is God’s Kingdom like? To what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and put in his own garden. It grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky live in its branches.’ 20 Again he said, ‘To what shall I compare God’s Kingdom? 21 It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened’” (Luke 13:18-21, WEB).
These parables teach us about the Kingdom of God. They can also teach us about certain principles of the Kingdom, including the Sabbath. It is a weekly experience/commitment that guides our time and behaviors as children of God. Below, we explain some lessons applied as it pertains to the Kingdom of God and the Sabbath.
Parable of the Mustard Seed – When people accept the teaching of the Kingdom of God, its importance in their lives continually grows. As time passes, it overshadows other things in their lives and becomes a source of life and blessing to others around them.
As we observe the Sabbath, it can seem like a small step. However, its importance increases over time, and it becomes a monumental part of our lives, just like the mustard seed grows from a small seed to a large tree. It overshadows other things in our lives that once had importance before we observed it.
For instance, I once placed such a high emphasis on work – and I still think work is important – but God’s Sabbath has greater importance. Like a tree, the seventh day rest overshadows work. Work must be paused for it. As we observe the Sabbath, there is life (it is a day of life – click HERE to learn more). Others will be drawn to us as we exalt Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath.
Recall from the parable that the man planted the mustard seed in his own garden. Just like the garden of Eden, we must protect the Kingdom teaching and our Sabbath observance from the serpent’s craftiness and cunning. Wherever there is an opportunity at life, satan desires to talk us out of it.
Parable of the Yeast – The Kingdom of God is compared to yeast. When one begins their walk, it starts out seemingly small just like yeast. As we apply its eternal principles and allow God’s Spirit to change us, it slowly impacts every part of our lives. Eventually, the way we walk, talk, and conduct our daily lives reflects His Kingdom rather than our former selves.
The Sabbath also has a yeast application. Once people start to observe the Sabbath, it gradually impacts various parts of our lives. Many decisions made throughout the week are made with the Sabbath in mind. Future planning is impacted by the Sabbath.
Said another way, our whole lives become organized with the Sabbath in mind. The Sabbath is one commandment we will have to either obey or disobey every week – even if other situations are not put before us. This is another reason why God said “Remember the Sabbath.”
The Kingdom of God and its eternal principles – such as the Sabbath – have increased from the time of Jesus until now. “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:7).
We will continue this thought next month!
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
Bible Sabbath Association (www.biblesabbath.org)