Something about contrasts.

Jesus told the crowds another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it is larger than other herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Another parable he told them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman takes and mixes into three measures of flour until all is leavened.” Jesus spoke all this to the crowds in parables. He told them nothing without a parable so that what the prophet foretold might be fulfilled, “I will open my mouth in parables, I will declare things which have been hidden from the foundation of the world.”

A proper understanding and approach to contrasts can be beneficial. In architecture, we see white tastefully matched with black, and not just on houses of mourning. The age difference between siblings is not a barrier; on the contrary, when a mother says of her sons, one of whom is grown and the other learning to walk, that they are like little and big friends, one can sense the love and harmony. In contrast, one can sense strength and courage, life and beauty.

We sense something similar in the words of the Gospel – in the parable of the mustard seed and the leaven. In these parables, the contrast between the tiny beginning and the great result at the end is expressed. The grain of mustard seed is one of the smallest, and likewise with a piece of leaven, we get a great result. The mustard seed grows into a gnarled tree, and a bit of leaven turns the flour into the dough.

These words of the Lord Jesus are a picture of the kingdom of God, which begins unobtrusively and in a small group of people but reaches great proportions and amazing power. The Evangelist Matthew is not only thinking of the glorious revelation of the kingdom of God at the end of the world, but he is probably thinking of Christianity in general, which will slowly spread throughout the world. We know Christianity began in Palestine’s small province of the Roman Empire. At its beginning, we see a small group of twelve disciples gathering around Jesus of Nazareth, who outwardly was no different from any other simple man, over a period of three years. After all, he was born in a stranger’s stable and died a criminal on a cross. His life’s journey from Bethlehem to Jerusalem lasted only 33 years. And if we didn’t see the power in that today, which Jesus taught, we wouldn’t even understand the reason for his words in the Gospel.
This small community, mustard seed, and leaven have today grown into a mossy tree and fermented the whole world. There is not a nation, a race, or a language group where they have not known the fruit of the teachings of the Lord Jesus. History gives truth to this contrast, and so the words of Christ are fulfilled, “… the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). And let us remember this because even today, we hear voices that this teaching, this personality, is meaningless.

Therefore, we may ask: Is this so? Is what the Lord Jesus brought worthlessness?
He has revealed to us the mystery of God, who is the beginning and the end of all that exists, of animate and inanimate nature, and of spiritual life. He introduced us to His Father and to our Father. He brought the doctrine of equality, which was unknown before the birth of the Lord Jesus. His teachings became the basis for cultural, economic, and scientific change in humanity. New and new people began to build and build upon his teachings at a faster pace, with a different approach. We are witnessing that the 21st century has not diminished the value of man’s relationship with God; on the contrary, solid research tells of growing faith in God, not among the ranks of ordinary people but especially among the personalities who are rewarded by the world with the world’s highest honors. This has been the case, is the case, and will be the case in the future.

The teaching of Jesus is a message of glad tidings that will sweep the world and triumph over sin. No violence, no persecution, no scientific worldview will prevent the fulfillment of Christ’s words, for he who knows just a little of the history of the law of logic and takes note of his own life cannot help sighing: how good it is that I am already dying, that it will be over at last. Man, after all, longs to live and to live forever. This was also the Creator’s first thought: His supreme workman should live forever. God endowed man with reason and free will, and this led man to fall and to misfortune. But the coming of the Lord Jesus into the world has lifted the veil, and man can have hope again.

However, the Gospel must not be understood as a mere quantity, a plurality. We also feel a qualitative obligation. To live qualitatively. To give to God what belongs to him. Remember to keep the day holy. We are in this world to know the Lord God, to love him, to serve him, and to be saved one day: for we also feel the admonition, “Not everyone who says to me: Lord, Lord, … “Lord, I say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but only he who does the will of my Father” (Mt. 7:21).

History has also brought many lessons for us. Many have failed, but only to their detriment – Judas, one of the Twelve. In the past, some early Christians failed under the threat of death. And that is both a lesson and a warning for us. Let us learn from contrasts and realize that they can enrich us.

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