Mark 4:30 – Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?” NIV
Here Jesus puts into question form a topic that He often states: “The Kingdom of God (Heaven) is like …” and then proceeds to share a parable that is a simile for the Kingdom of God. Why does He use these parable (earthly stories with a heavenly meaning) to describe the Kingdom of God? I discussed this some in Question #60. Jesus wanted to stir the interest of the crowds without setting Himself up for a charge of blasphemy that would come soon enough. His time had not yet come.
The brief parable that He shares with this question is: “It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” (Mark 4:31-32 – NIV)
If we choose to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by placing our faith and trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it starts out as a small act of faith that has huge eternal consequences. As we by faith choose to follow Jesus, several things happen. We become joint-heirs with Jesus of eternal life. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. With our cooperation, the Holy Spirit will begin transforming us into the image of Christ. The benefits are numerous and when allowed to grow and mature, the influence that God has through our lives will be tremendous. We will not only be blessed; but we will be a blessing to those around us.
My grandmother often wore a necklace with a small glass globe attached to it about the size of a marble. Encased in that glass was a tiny seed that was magnified by the glass surrounding it. She told me it was a mustard seed, and sometime between her words and this parable, the idea connected that something big can grow from something small when God is involved. I still have her necklace to remind me of what God can do in my life and other people’s lives when they trust Him. As I wrote this I went and got it out just to remind me of this truth.
Have I by faith in Jesus let God plant the seed of the Kingdom of Heaven in my life? What other seeds is God planting in my life that He would like to grow? How can I better cooperate with God so that these seeds will bear the fruit that God wants to produce? Do I sometimes look down on small beginnings and choose not to even begin? What else is God saying to me through the parable of the mustard seed?