This is sort of random. I just enjoyed the thought that came to me about Luke 13:18-21. How do these retellings of the mustard seed and leaven parables fit with vss. 1-21? Luke Timothy Johnson’s commentary helped me see the connections. After the jump I have a few sentences I wrote, inspired by Johnson, about how these parables are being used by Luke to round out the section. Those who subscribe to my Daily D’var commentary on Torah and gospel readings get this sort of material daily.
On the meaning of Luke 13:18-21 in the larger context of warnings to repentance as Yeshua’s conflict is mounting and he is nearing Jerusalem:
Yeshua’s little movement is about to be doomed, it may seem, but hidden things are happening. A great plant is growing and birds will nest in it (in Mark and Matthew there is perhaps a hint the birds are unwelcome guests in the kingdom: sinners, the poor, gentiles). A loaf is being fermented. The messianic prophet may be headed to confrontation with powers of death, but something great will come, something the origin of which cannot now be seen. The seed will die to leave behind a plant and the leaven will work through everything and change all that it contacts.