Summary: Whether you are building your personal Christian faith, starting a family, planting a local church, beginning worthwhile projects, or planning businesses; the parable of Jesus about the mustard seed is a very relevant message that can encourage you
THE SEED OF HUMBLE BEGINNING
Whether you are building your personal Christian faith, starting a family, planting a local church, beginning worthwhile projects, or planning businesses; the parable of Jesus about the mustard seed is a very relevant message that can motivate and encourage you.
Mat 13:31 Jesus told them another parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field.
Mat 13:32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches." GNB
The mustard seed that the text mentioned here is exactly different from the mustard herb that we have in our vegetable garden today. Bible scholars describe the biblical mustard seed with more or less 12 feet high when grown and birds actually build their nest on it. But in spite of big potential, its seed is considered proverbially as the smallest in Palestine during the biblical time.
Jesus use the analogy of mustard seed to teach us the lesson that we should not despise the small beginning. That in fact, Jesus Himself chooses the path of humble start when He came to rescue the fallen mankind and birthed His church in this world. The parable of the mustard seed tells us three important lessons to encourage us to go on and give us a hope for our future.
I. THE SEED TELL US ABOUT THE CHURCH AND ITS GROWTH
The parable prefigures growth of the Church of God which is the kingdom of God on Earth from an insignificant and smallest beginning
Realizing the fact of history that the greatest things must always begin with the smallest beginnings, Barclay wrote the following commentary and four observations:
Jesus said that his Kingdom was like the mustard seed and its growth into a tree. The point is crystal clear. The Kingdom of Heaven starts from the smallest beginnings, but no man knows where it will end. In eastern language and in the Old Testament itself one of the commonest pictures of a great empire is the picture of a great tree, with the subject nations depicted as birds finding rest and shelter within its branches (Eze 31:6). This parable tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven begins very small but that in the end many nations will be gathered within it.
(1) An idea which may well change civilization begins with one man. In the British Empire it was William Wilberforce who was responsible for the freeing of the slaves. The idea of that liberation came to him when he read an exposure of the slave trade by Thomas Clarkson…An idea was sown in the mind of one man, and that idea changed life for hundreds of thousands of people. An idea must find a man willing to be possessed by it; but when it finds such a man an unstoppable tide begins to flow.
(2) A witness must begin with one man. Cecil Northcott tells in one of his books that a group of young people from many nations were discussing how the Christian gospel might be spread. They talked of propaganda, of literature, of all the ways of disseminating the gospel in the twentieth century. Then the girl from Africa spoke. "When we want to take Christianity to one of our villages," she said, "we don¡¦t send them books. We take a Christian family and send them to live in the village and they make the village Christian by living there." In a group or society, or school or factory, or shop or office, again and again it is the witness of one individual which brings in Christianity. The one man or woman set on fire for Christ is the person who kindles others.
(3) A reformation begins with one person. One of the great stories of the Christian Church is the story of Telemachus. He was a hermit of the desert, but something told him--the call of God--that he must go to Rome. He went. Rome was nominally Christian, but even in Christian Rome the gladiatorial games went on, in which men fought with each other, and crowds roared with the lust for blood. Telemachus found his way to the games. Eighty thousand people were there to spectate. He was horrified. Were these men slaughtering each other not also children of God? He leaped from his seat, right into the arena, and stood between the gladiators. He was tossed aside. He came back.
The crowd was angry; they began to stone him. Still he struggled back between the gladiators. The prefect¡¦s command rang out; a sword flashed in the sunlight, and Telemachus was dead. Suddenly there was a hush; suddenly the crowd realized what had happened; a holy man lay dead. Something happened that day to Rome, for there were never again any gladiatorial games. By his death one man had let loose something that cleansed an empire. Someone must begin a reformation; he need not begin it in a nation; he may begin it in his home or where he works. If he begins it no man knows where it will end.