The Mustard Seed.  The Yeast.  We love these parables because they comfort us.  “Just a little bit of Godliness spreads.  Goodness is contagious.  Your little act of kindness has larger consequences.”  So we tell and retell them, we study them, we refer to them, and we ponder them in our hearts.

The Hidden Treasure.  The Pearl.  Not quite as comforting, but still we find them intriguing.  “Do whatever it takes to attain the Kingdom of Heaven.  Give up all you have because the Kingdom is worth so much more.”  These are less beloved because they require something of us, namely sacrifice, something we don’t do very well.  Still, we ponder them.

The field.  The net.  These are less known because they are less told because they are scary.  “Good and bad live together, and in the end they will be separated.  The good go to God, the evil are trashed, or burned up.”  Try to tell that one to a neighbor.  These are used usually only in a negative sense since the most important part (that the angels do the sorting, not us) is usually forgotten.

Yet all three sets are encouragements to Godly living.  Whether promise, challenge, or warning, these parables all point us in the same direction.  And since different people need different motivators, and some of us need different motivators at different times, we need to read all six together rather than just choosing the ones we like.  But then, isn’t that the way we should read all of scripture?

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