Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Background to the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Part 2

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:  The first parable Jesus spoke told the disciples about four kinds of soil. Three of them do not receive the message of the King. That tells them that in this mysterious church age portion of the kingdom it will include rejection.  The immediate question that would come into the mind of the disciple would be, “What's going to happen to the rejecters?”  So, the Lord told them a second parable.  Jesus stated that the wheat and the weeds, the kingdom citizens and the rejecters, are going to grow together until the judgment.  He also informs them it is not their job to be the executioners, that's for the angels in the judgment.  Their job and ours is to keep on being the wheat in the world so that we’ll influence the weeds around us.  This second parable led to the next question for the disciples, “If these two things are going along together, isn't that going to choke out the life of the kingdom?”  Does it not sometimes look and feel like we in the kingdom of God are going to get wiped out literally?  The odds seem so unbelievable at times.   And so, Jesus teaches them these two parables that show from very small beginnings, very insignificant starts, the kingdom is going to grow in spite of the opposition to ultimately influence the whole-wide world.  The first two parables talk about the conflict. They talk about the antagonism of evil and good in the kingdom. They talk about the right and the wrong fighting one another.  But these next two talk about the victory of the right. That in the end, the little tiny mustard seed fills the earth, the little piece of leaven, leavens the whole loaf of bread.  Now the Lord does not explain to us these two parables, but don't feel bad. The Lord gave us Somebody to explain them to us, The Holy Spirit.  We, therefore, are not cheated in any way.  Jesus explained the parables to the disciples, but for us, we have the resident Holy Spirit.  And because we understand God, and we understand the mind of God as revealed in the Word of God, we can fit these parables in with His plan 

  1. Do you recognize the beautiful progression of thought concerning these parables?
  2. Are you grateful for the Holy Spirit to grant you understanding of these parables?
Prayer: Father, as I grow in my understanding of this mysterious church age, help me to grow more dependent on Your presence as I struggle through the same issues the first disciples battled.  Amen.

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