”He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”
Today we are talking about size and what this parable teaches us.
Before we dive I want to read to you a snippet from the margins of a bible about parables. The quote is from the Voice Translation.
“Jesus’ teaching often includes parables: stories that explain truth about the Kingdom with examples from everyday life. Considering that most of His listeners know about farming, it’s no wonder most of Jesus’ parables are based on agricultural realities.
Parables like this force Jesus’ listeners to think about the kingdom of God differently. He challenges their ideas, and He also knows they are unlikely to forget it. When they see farmers broadcasting their seeds they will remember this parable and ponder the mysteries of God’s kingdom. It never seems to bother Him that people are confused by His teaching.
HE doesn’t expect them to understand everything; He wants them to wrestle with His teachings so His worlds will sit in their hearts and germinate – much like the seed sitting in good soil that eventually grow to bear fruit.”
Jesus is by far the greatest teacher that ever existed, which is important because we have many teachers, but truly there is only one that matters as much as Jesus does.
This morning, my prayer for all of us is that Jesus’ words would sit in our hearts and germinate like a seed in the soil.
Today Jesus calls you and me to understand that we need to wrestle with the simplicity of the mustard seed. It’s not simple, and we must wrestle with what it truly means.
The question is why?
About a month and a half ago my life and my wife’s life changed forever. Our daughter, Rilla Olive Rey Alexander was born at 7:51 am on July 19. She was born at 6 pounds and 1 ounce and was 19 3/4 inches long.
She was tiny.
Smaller than I was comfortable with because I was so afraid of hurting this little life that we were now entrusted to take care of.
To explain the last month or so I could wholeheartedly say that God is a Show-Off.
I have never been so terrified in my life and yet I have never before been so blessed in my life. I lose it more and more every time I look into her eyes. She was so tiny, and she was creating seismic changes in my life, how was this possible?
We have a misunderstanding in what size is. We have a skewed understanding of what strength is and what weakness is. For centuries we have surmised that God’s power would level the earth and rightfully so it could, but it doesn’t, it works like a still small voice. We are given this parable today about a mustard seed, the smallest of seeds in the entire earth.
The imagery of the seed is seismic in how much it changes how we think about life. We believe you to be big and strong and have muscled out to your eyeballs; we have to have large sums of money or even be a certain age or tax bracket to impact change in this world.
We have never been more wrong.
How can this be? How can something so small impact so much change, how can the faith of a mustard seed move mountains?
God uses everyone, no matter their age, how much money they make or what job they have or how attractive the world deems them to be they are all of the sacred worth to God and deemed very good by the creator of everything.
So, today know that wherever you are, whoever you remember the famous quote from Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Know that you can change the world.