Daily Reading: Mark 4:30-32:
Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
The mustard seed represents the Gospel, starting very small but growing to reach millions throughout the world who will inherit the kingdom. Remember when Jesus talked about the Kingdom, He is describing it to a crowd, where Jesus at the time only had twelve disciples. There were not many who believed, and even in Acts 1 it says the group was 120. The people couldn’t even comprehend what Jesus was telling them. 120 believers sharing the Gospel led to where we stand today at an estimate of 2.18 billion believers from Jesus’ day to ours.
What comes prior to our mustard seed parable, Jesus teaches what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29).
So, first of all, the man sowing seed is the teacher or preacher of truth.
His sleeping and rising night and day indicate that human effort is not the cause of the growth of the seed. It is a work of God in the hearts of men.
The seed growing secretly
- 1. God does His work silently.
- God does His work slowly.
- God does His work surely.
Because we know that salvation is a work of God, we are simply vehicles that bring forth the grace of God into the world by sowing seeds of God’s truth.
Now when we get to the parable of the mustard seed it shows the impact that kingdom work has. Both men and women are equal, integral parts in the expansion of the Kingdom (Mark 4:26, Luke 13:21). In a male dominant society in the time, Jesus does the original him/her insert when talking about kingdom workers.