Summary: Jesus compared the Kingdom of God with a tiny mustard seed, so today we are going to learn some life lessons from what Jesus taught.
How many of you like mustard on your sandwich? How many of you like it on a grilled cheese sandwich?
Mustard is one of those things that you either like or you don’t.
Jesus compared the Kingdom of God with a tiny mustard seed, so today we are going to learn some life lessons from what Jesus taught.
Jesus often used agriculture as a backdrop for His parables. Since the whether has been so pleasant lately, I know many of you gardners out there are chomping on the bit to start planting.
Turn in your Bibles to Luke chapter 13:1
Before Jesus gets to His mustard parable, he first addresses mankind’s basic need for God.
13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
Jesus cuts right to the heart. He breaks the happy little bubble most people walk around with. He does it by asking the question – “were these people worse than anybody else?” In other words, were they more evil and more deserving of punishment than the average citizen? The answer of corse is no!
Ask the average American what makes them eligible for heaven and they’ll tell you that they believe God will allow them into heaven because they’ve been “good” or that they’ve “done their best in life and never hurt anybody.”
Save you’re “I’ve been good” stories for Santa Clause, because the Bible says that there is no one who is good enough to get into heaven. There is only one way into heaven and that is by first of all getting to know Jesus and then following Him as a disciple.
Jesus uses the word “repent” here. What exactly does he mean?
What do you think of when you hear the word “repent?”
I think of some fired up preacher screaming out, “Turn or burn!”
To “repent” means to turn, to change course, to go a different direction. It involves your total being. You repent with your mind, your body and your soul.
Repentance is a two step process. First, you turn away from the direction your life is taking and Second, you move yourself in a direction back toward God.
Maybe your life is falling down around you and you’re wondering what to do.
Perhaps your life is great right now, but you have an empty feeling inside that you can’t seem to fill.
Or, you could be going through life happy as a clam. Watch out, because eventually someone will come along and dig you up and throw you into their chowder pot. Then what will you do?
May I make a suggestion here? (softly) Repent. Stop what you’re doing and turn away from your lifestyle and start heading toward God.
Everything else has disappointed.
All the money in the world can’t make you happy.
All the drugs and booze can’t make you happy.
All the wild living can’t make you happy.
There is only one way to be truly happy and that is to turn to God.
And when you turn to God, don’t just do it 25% - 50% - or even 75%, but turn to Him %100 – and He won’t let you down!
Alright, back to the garden.
6 (Jesus) told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, `For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 "`Sir,’ the man replied, `leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’"
In this parable God is the owner of the vineyard. He had you and everybody else planted in His vineyard. He is a proud vineyard owner. The implication of this parable is that God is full of anticipation about his plants. He expects His plants to grow and to bear fruit. He wants you to grow. He’s on your side. He’s for you %100. He keeps checking for your life to see if it is bearing fruit.