Oh, my friends. You are about to be amazed…
In this PODCAST, you will be amazed that in such a few words, Jesus taught such a tremendously timely and thought-provoking parable.
Exactly WHAT the disciples (and US!) needed to hear; exactly WHEN they (and WE!) needed to hear it.
If the world seems to be spinning out of control…
If it seems that we are losing…
If life becomes for you at times overwhelming…
If you ever feel oh so tired, weary, worn down…
Then you are in for a treat, courtesy of Jesus.
So, let’s start off by reading Matthew 13:31-32
31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
Well, that’s a cute little story, but what does it mean?
Now, keep in mind that when Jesus shared the parables, he knew exactly what the people of the first century were going through as much as he knew exactly what we are going through in our world today.
So, if nothing else, He is fully aware of what you’re experiencing and His desire is to walk alongside you through it.
Now, the key is two-fold:
- God ALWAYS uses small, seemingly insignificant, apparently insufficient things to accomplish His grand and glorious purposes. We, on the other hand, are typically attracted to the big, loud, exciting and energetic things. But you see, with God’s M.O., there is no doubt about who gets the credit. Consider when Jesus fed the multitude. He didn’t use a local caterer and simply magnify the amount of food that was distributed. He used a kid’s sack lunch and miraculously met the needs of all those around!
- WE WIN! This is great news! Now, I’ll admit that when we look at our culture and global events today, it may appear as though the “Christian soldiers” are losing, but I’ve read the end of the Book, and we win!
So, why did Jesus tell this parable of the mustard seed? Maybe it was because at that moment, no one felt like an insignificant mustard seed more so than Christ’s disciples. There were times when they felt… just like we often feel today… just… so… tired. Life under the Roman political system was exhausting for them. For many American Christians today, our divided political system is also exhausting. There are forces that rise up against us around the globe (ISIS, Ebola, Putin, North Korea, just to name a few). It’s just draining. People are scared. People are feeling insecure. Even if not for themselves, many people fear for the type of world that will be left behind for our children and grandchildren.
Now, take all this fear and apprehension that we have today and add religious oppression from the Roman government and the blood on the streets flowing from fellow countrymen who were crucified along the roads and you’ve got the overwhelmingly exhausting climate that Jesus was speaking into at the time he delivered the parables.
You see, what Jesus wanted them to understand (as well as us today) is this: He did not come here to save their sorry hides from the Romans. That wasn’t His mission. Nor is it His mission today to save any of us from what seems to be opposing us in this world. No, He didn’t come to save a nation (neither Israel nor the U.S.), He came to save the souls of all who would follow Him!
So, back to Jesus’ parables. Keep in mind that the mustard seed – a tiny, seemingly inconsequential seed – can actually sprout and grow to be a 15-feet-tall shrub with long, spanning branches so that it looks to the untrained eye like a tree. A tree so tall, secure and stable that birds can actually nest and reside in it.
So, when God is doing something, it may appear to be small and insignificant, but its influence has a wide reach without fanfare.
The influence of God’s truth through God’s people spreads from something infinitesimally small to something that has a worldwide reach.
So, when Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed, he’s saying, “We will win!… but not yet.”
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