Intro: Small beginnings seem to be the way of God; he is the Author of seed time and harvest. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Gen 8:22). God delights in his creation; he saw that it was good. As human beings, life starts when a seed is planted and cells begin to multiply; following birth we grow and develop, learn, and mature. God does the same in our salvation, because our new life begins as a Seed of righteousness implanted in our hearts and grows making us into fruit-bearing, gift-using, gospel-proclaiming mature disciples.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus spoke a great deal about the Kingdom and he is referred to as the Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). Scripture teaches Christ has complete authority over heaven and earth, as well as a plan to redeem it. In the midst of this fallen world, God’s Kingdom was established by the defeat of sin and death when Jesus gave his life to pay for our sin. Now, the growth of the Kingdom is to spread through the proclamation of Christ’s disciples as they model life with God. The Lord invites every believer to use the power stored up in the Kingdom—grace and the work of the Helper. Therefore, we also have the power over sin and can help others find new life and wholeness for their lives. The gospel is truly Good News, and we must enjoy and share it.
In our passage today from the gospel of Mark, Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as being like a mustard seed—it has a very small beginning but ends with an abundant result. Just like all seeds, the Kingdom goes through stages of growth and will end in a ripe crop with a harvest of souls—the angels will one day swing the sickle of God’s judgment. (Rev 14:14-19).
Mark 4:30-34 Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”
33 Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. 34 In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for small beginnings, as well as the promise of fulfillment or maturity. Help us to stay focused on what you are saying and doing as we follow you each day. Give us courage and endurance, as well as vision and direction. Multiply us we pray! In Jesus’ name. Amen.