In brief parables the kingdom of God is likened to a mustardseed and to leaven.
He had announced the nearness of the kingdom of God, but had described it only in parables from nature.
Proceeding upon such lines as these, the Jews wove together their Midrashic homilies or sermons where, though we may find much that seems commonplace, there are illuminating parables and proverbs, metaphors and similes, the whole affording admirable examples of the contemporary thought and culture, both of the writers and - what is often overlooked - the level of their hearers or readers.
In some parables a gradual realization of the kingdom is indicated (Matt.
The little book promptly aroused widespread interest, some cordial sympathy and much vehement opposition; whilst its large companion the Etudes evangeliques, containing the course on the parables and four sections of his coming commentary on the Fourth Gospel, passed almost unnoticed.