Matt. 13:31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
For Jesus, trying to help the people understand the heavenly kingdom was not easy. They were consumed with the idea of a political kingdom and a Messiah who would lead them into a new era. Instead, Jesus continued preaching about the kingdom of heaven which was very difficult for them to comprehend. He would speak to the people in parables, telling them stories that just might help them comprehend what he meant. The kingdom of heaven was not large, nor was it visible in ways the people may have imagined or thought they wanted, and yet, it was to be transformative. Jesus had come to sow seeds of faith the size of mustard seeds. Yes, they were small and yet, when planted would grow into a large plant or tree. Jesus was planting those mustard seeds and the results would be simply astonishing. He was inviting his followers to join with him in sowing mustard seeds.
This week I have been enjoying the privilege of teaching a class on the history of early Christianity. Specifically from the time that the church became involved in the affairs of government, or when the Emperor began to be the one who called church council meetings. Instead of embracing the sowing of mustard seeds, Christianity became enticed by the power of kingdoms. In doing so Christianity lost much of her innocence and compromised the purity of her faith. She was seeing phenomenal results as hundreds of thousands of people converted. But was it for the right reason? Were people really living the way in which Christ would have been pleased?
Jesus challenges us to be sowers of mustard seeds. The world may not even notice because they are so small. They grow because of their particular cellular code— it’s the way God created them to be! Living into God’s mission may, at times, hardly be visible. The growth and the results are in God’s hands, not ours. We are simply to be busy sowing the mustard seeds.
LORD, please help me to live into your mustard seed kingdom. Amen.
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