Such were the kingdom-teachings of Christ:
"The kingdom of God," he said, "what is it like?
What shall I use to explain all its ways,
The mystery of its growth and its grace?
It's as if one planted a mustard seed,
The smallest of grains one sows in a field,
Yet the greatest of herbs when it has grown,
Giving rest for birds who else would have flown.
Consider it this way: the kingdom is like
The leaven that causes bread dough to rise--
The cook takes some up, through the dough kneads,
Till all of the bread is leavened with yeast."
Thus Jesus spoke to the crowds all around,
In parables simple and yet profound,
So that those who had ears to hear would hear,
As had been prophesied in bygone years:
"In parables will I open my mouth,
And speak forth words which tell you about
Secrets which all have been hidden away
From before the world's foundations were laid."