Matthew 13:31-35 Small and Hidden Kingdom

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[b] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,     I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[c]

Small and Hidden Kingdom

Jesus amazes his listeners who thought that when the Kingdom of God would be established on earth it would be instantaneously big.  Jesus indicates that the kingdom that he has established by this point is small but that it will grow.  It is small like the mustard seed and it is small like yeast.  Yeast also is hidden in the bread and this indicates a hidden element to the Kingdom of God.

God’s kingdom is wherever he has reign.  The kingdom is established in each of us in a small hidden way but it grows to consume every part of our lives as we realise its power.


  1. To what small things was the kingdom compared?
  2. Why would this smallness have shocked the hearers?
  3. What did Jesus use as an illustration of the kingdom being hidden?
  4. Why does God start in small and hidden ways sometimes?
  5. How is God’s kingdom growing through you?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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2 Responses to Matthew 13:31-35 Small and Hidden Kingdom

  1. Jonna Leshock says:

    4. I think God’s Kingdom starts in small and hidden ways at times largely because that is all we can handle or are ready for. God gives us the choice – to choose and accept Jesus, to follow his ways, and to enter through the gates. We are free to live in the kingdom. Maybe it would be an easier choice for some to make if the Kingdom were big, instantly revealed, and provided the instant gratification that we long for. But would we then be worthy of making that choice? Would we truly desire to know God, would we understand and appreciate God’s glory and the sacrifice he made for us in giving his son over to death? I think of the things I’ve acquired easily. I certainly don’t appreciate them the same way that I appreciate things I have worked really hard and struggled for…easy come, easy go, I guess. Through our growing relationship with Jesus – studying his Word, learning his ways, growing more in him each day, more of his kingdom is revealed in and through us. I do see God’s purpose in creating his kingdom in this way.

  2. Carrie says:

    Compared to the mustard seed and yeast.

    People believed when the messiah came the kingdom would be grand and big on earth.

    I think God starts small as a way to learn easier. If everything was big and enormous how would we be able to take it all in and appreciate it for all that it is. When we see and hear small amounts at a time it helps us to remember and visualize then expand as more knowledge/information is given.

    I am learning so much through getting deep in Matthew, doing devotional time with my teen moms, preparing lessons for Sunday school and doing a book study with a small group of moms. Each of these arenas are a way for me to learn a little bit of a small things and continue to build on previous knowledge.

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