Monday, August 12, 2013

The Background to the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Part 1

Scripture: Matthew 13:31-32

He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES." 

Insights:  Small things can have very large effects. Lord Kelvin provides us with an interesting insight into this truth by an experiment which he once made. He suspended a large chunk of steel weighing many, many pounds.  It was hanging there in his lab to prove a point. He then proceeded to wad up little bits of paper about the size of a pea and systematically throw the wad at the steel. At first, that rather gentle tap had no affect at all. But eventually the steel was swaying back and forth and back and forth because of the relentless tapping of the little piece of paper.  Lord Kelvin was proving the principle that small things can produce profound results.  And that principle is the point of these parables.  Now let me give you a little bit of background so that you'll be able to feel with the disciples what they felt as Jesus was teaching them.  The disciples believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the King.  And for them, the kingdom had very clear definitions.  There would be pomp and circumstance.  There would be great cataclysmic events. There would be the punishment of evil doers.  They were looking for the music and the horses, the triumph, the wonder, the show, and the publicity.  They really anticipated a blazing display of power, glory, majesty, and might as the Messiah established His kingdom.  But, it didn't happen that way and that's why they kept asking themselves, “Was this the Messiah?”  Jesus would tell them again and again that He was and they would still struggle with it.  All the way into the book of Acts they are still asking, “Will You at this time bring the kingdom?”  They never quite understood because their expectations were so different from what they were seeing. Instead of Jesus talking about what He would do to these evil, wicked people.  He started talking about what they would do to Him.  Instead of Him saying, “I am going to kill them and establish My kingdom,” He started saying, “They're going to kill Me.” And this misunderstanding on the part of the disciples was very, very hard for them to accept. 

  1. Are there times in which you expect a different outcome than what actually occurs?
  2. Are you willing to accept that outcome when it means God will get greater glory?
Prayer: Father, I do not see with eyes of eternity.  Open them, I pray, so I may see with Your eyes and understand with Your mind.  Grant me the grace to fully trust and rely on You.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment