"It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 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.” (Mark 4:31-32)
Upon research, one is told that the mustard plant is more of a shrub than a tree. We are told that it only grows a few feet.
While it is significant that a big bush can grow from a small seed, there is something even more significant about Jesus comparing the Kingdom of God, to a mustard plant/shrub. The mustard plant that grows from the mustard seed was,in fact, a weed in the middle east. It’s a shrub that popped up all over Palestine.
“With its pungent taste and fiery effect, mustard is extremely beneficial for the health. It grows entirely wild…when it has once been sown, it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once” – Pliny the Elder (www.beliefnet.com).
Friend, are you seeing what I’m seeing? The mustard plant has an unmistakable and pungent smell and taste. It has “take-over” properties.The kingdom of God – God’s rule and reign in the hearts of men and women - is like that. Once the seed of the Gospel, is sown, it starts germinating and taking over. The Gospel transforms us.
The smell and taste of the mustard plant has health benefits we are told.
- How the Gospel bring healing to the sin-sick soul!
- How the name of Jesus bring peace to a storm-tossed life! His Name is like ointment poured forth!
Just as the birds find refuge from the noonday sun, amongst the levels of the mustard bush, so too do troubled hearts, seared by the noonday sun of life, find refuge and shelter in Jesus.
"The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." (Proverbs 18:10)
As a weed, the mustard bush grows in places even where it’s not welcome. I cannot help but think of countries where Christianity is not welcome. In countries like North Korea, China, many Muslim countries, Christians are persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Yet, in these very places, the seed of God’s Word has been planted, and continues to sprout and take root, changing lives, bring healing and forgiveness to countless people.
"Thy Kindom come! Thy will be done!"
May your kingdom come, Dear Lord, I pray;
Rule and reign in the hearts of men
Sow, scatter, sprout the seed of your Word;
May it being forth much fruit, Amen!