The people of Jesus’ time expected that the «kingdom of heaven,» ruled over by the promised Messiah, would destroy the hated Romans and end everyone’s troubles. They were wrong, and Jesus tried hard to explain what that kingdom really was all about. Listen:
He told them another parable: «The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 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.»
He told them still another parable: «The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.»
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 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.»
Mustard seed? Yeast? What do they have to do with over-throwing the Romans? Jesus understood how disappointed everyone would be if He came right out and said, «Listen up, people. There’s not going to be a rebellion here. No driving the enemy out of the land. As a matter of fact, you’ve gotta learn to get along with the Romans because they’re your brothers and sisters in God.»
Instead, Jesus spoke in parables, trying to reveal hard truth through simple stories.