Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mark 4:26-34 The Kingdom of God is Like a Mustard Seed

Jesus said to the crowds:
"This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come."

He said,
"To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade."
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

In the first parable, Jesus explains that the kingdom of God will spread similarly to how after a seed is planted, many different factors act on it to allow it to grow. Although we may be preaching the Kingdom of God, what Jesus is saying is that it is made a reality not through our actions but God's. So often in ministry, we get caught up in ourselves and think that it is us who make the Kingdom of God a reality. What Jesus reminds us of is that it is God who makes the Kingdom of God a reality. We are simply the instruments that God uses.

In the second parable, Jesus teaches us that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. From something so little and insignificant, a huge tree emerges. During Jesus' time, the Church was nothing. It was made up of a small group of people who preached, healed, and served others. When we look at the Church today, we see something radically different. We see large institutions, millions of followers, countless numbers of art and literature all inspired by a poor Palestinian who walked the earth two thousand years ago. Truly, the Kingdom will be that much bigger.

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