Ketchup and Mustard

Gospel / Matthew 13:24-43

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘” He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'” He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world. Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”


I’m a ketchup-guy.  While I like mustard, I am still trying to adjust 20+ years later to folks putting mustard on hamburgers and a whole host of other things that just seem naturally-inclined to have ketchup on them.  You can imagine my shock when the argument for mustard expanded to BBQ sauce.  This was just food blasphemy.  That was, of course, until I tried it.  It was really, really good.  I’ve never looked back.  Jesus speaks to us this week about having the Faith of a mustard seed.  The mustard seed, like King David, is very small in stature and quite unassuming, but, with the right Guidance and Love, it becomes great.  We’re all called to be great.  If you consider where the mustard seed starts from to where it can end-up, the percent of transformation is nothing short of a Miracle.  It was the same with David.  The youngest of a brood of Jesse’s sons, David was quite small in stature, but he had the heart of God (Acts 13:22).  When he faced the giant Philistine, Goliath disdained David since David was a youth who was ruddy with a handsome appearance.  Goliath said, “‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.” (1 Samuel 17:43)  Bad idea.  Things didn’t end well for Goliath.  Not only did David kill the giant, but, after cursing David by Goliath’s gods (minding that God saw David as having a heart like His), he might just have ended-up with the weeds in the fire.  It’s no different for all of us.  If we only Listen to the call, Trust in His plan, and Obey His commands for our lives, we can be great, too.  Each of us is an incredible Miracle – a Spiritual tulip bulb that can Bloom into incredible things for Him.  Each of us is His unique design and we each of have equally-unique plans laid-out by God before our lives on Earth even begin.  Like God’s plans for us, sometimes we think that the ketchup would be a better choice even when God is asking us to consider His mustard seed.  We don’t want to go to that Family Reunion or business meeting.  We don’t want to have to talk about pornography with our Children.  We don’t want to give away our Saturday to help a neighbor move furniture.  But, trust God when He calls you .  The mustard seed experience always Rewards – whether or not you see or feel it.

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