I was a ketchup loving kid, but a mustard loving adult. Mustard seeds are small round seeds that grow rather quickly to fruition (70-90 days). They are know throughout the middle east and Asia. The seed combined with vinegar or water becomes what we know of as a tangy spice. Jesus opens a discussion about how to understand the kingdom of God. One illustration is that we can picture the kingdom of God like a mustard see. What is Jesus’ point? What can we understand from the mustard seed. Is it that while beginning very humbly and small, the kingdom of God grows world wide and touches every corner of the world. Sure! I think that’s fair. But, what attitude is revealed in the parable? Humility! We do nothing to earn our salvation and the Spirit of God is He who draws men to repentance. So, while we have a participative role in the redemption of mankind, let us keep in mind that we are merely ambassadors, or those ‘holding out’ the word of life. In some Jewish extra-Biblical texts, the knowable universe is compared to the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate that what we know is insignificant compared to all that God knows. Therefore we should have humility. With a mustard see, you don’t have to wait too long for fruit. The same is true with people who put their faith in Christ… the Holy Spirit will immediately begin to bear the fruit of love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
And He was saying, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is the smallest of all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants, and forms large branches, with the result that the birds of the sky can nest under its shade.” Mark 4:20-32 NASB
How and when did I enter the kingdom of God? What fruit is evident in my life?
God, as this day begins, I praise You for the privilege of being included in Your kingdom of love. I can remember back 43 years when the life and teaching of Jesus first made sense to me. I was saved. And I am being saved. And I fully expect to be saved. The small seed has grown. Now may I be one who allows shelter for others within the branches. As I minister this week with people who have lost loved ones in December, please impart to me the grace and insight, compassion and understanding as I help them create beautiful ceremonies that celebrate their loved one.