Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a huge batch of dough leavened by a small amount of yeast. The little things we do matter in God’s Kingdom because every person we encounter matters to our heavenly Father. Bread dough rises, gets punched down, and rises again. We sometimes feel beaten down, but we can still grow in faith. When someone asked Jesus if only a few would experience salvation, He answered that many would not have the strength to enter. Nevertheless, laden with the burdens we face, the Lord wants us to come to Him with faith tha

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With a bumper crop and barns too small to store all of the produce, a landowner decided to build bigger barns. He could have chosen to feed the hungry. With the master of the house away, servants had the choice of performing their duties loyally or lackadaisically. Jesus advised steadfast readiness for His return, since we won’t get advance notice of the date and time. Like a person who looks at the weather conditions when making outdoor plans, doing the right thing depends on looking at the needs around us. The parable of an orchard owner wh

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God had sent Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh to repent or perish. Jonah refused to go until he got thrown overboard a ship, swallowed by a giant fish, and had three days to think things over before getting spewed onto dry land. Jonah preached, and the Ninevites repented of their violent ways. Centuries later, the crowd around Jesus clambered for a sign. The Lord said that they already had the example of Jonah, not to mention the Son of Man among them. Face to face, the Lord rebuked Pharisees for seeking honor for themselves and chastised s

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Samaritans and the Jewish people had parted ways in some of their beliefs and religious practices, although they remained neighbors geographically. Both groups believed in the Ten Commandments, though. When a scholar of the law asked Jesus to define “neighbor” in the second Commandment, the Lord told His parable of the good Samaritan. The scholar would have preferred a hero from his side of the ideological fence. Visiting with friends, Jesus encountered Martha, his overwhelmed hostess. Martha got nowhere by asking Jesus to tell her sister

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Jesus chose the Twelve—a very blessed and privileged group, yet they argued among themselves about who was the greatest. When an outsider cast out demons in the Lord’s name, the Disciples tried to put a stop to it. Instead of telling them to grow up, Jesus said to humble themselves like small children. As the Lord steeled Himself for the journey toward His Passion and death, 72 preceded Him to the places Jesus planned to visit along the way. He gave them power to heal and instructed them to preach the Kingdom of heaven at hand for people re

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Rumors spread as people speculated that John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the other prophets had come back to life as Jesus. Our Lord said that Peter got it right when he called Jesus the Christ of God. At last, the Light of the world didn’t have to feel like a hidden lamp. Nevertheless, our Lord frequently referred to Himself as the Son of Man, a title that serves to remind us that He humbly embraced His humanity. When word reached Jesus that members of His family had joined a crowd outside, Jesus described people who hear and act upon t

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John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey. Jesus dined among sinners, eating whatever table fare they offered. People said John was possessed and called Jesus a glutton. A Pharisee invited the Lord to his home but denied Him the common courtesy of a basin of water to rinse the road dust from His feet. Then a sinful woman approached Jesus, bathed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with ointment. She received His forgiveness and gave her love. A centurion, admittedly unworthy to have Jesus under the same roof

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