Thought for the week 13th June 2021
This week's talk is written by Rev Nutan S J Suray.
Like a mustard seed
Again Jesus 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.’ Mark 4:26-34
Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed reminds me of my own journey – the time when I was called to ministry. I was not convinced that God had the power to use me. How wrong I was! Little did I know that God was going to use me outside of my little village, even outside of my country of birth, to serve the church! It is perhaps human nature to judge things by appearance or capability, forgetting that God does have power to use whatever He sees fit for a purpose!
Jesus teaches that the growth of a seed is a mystery just like the growth of the Kingdom. We know that a seed needs soil, water and an adequate amount of sunshine to grow, but the question still is - who makes it grow? More importantly, a seed needs to be planted in the ground because a seed, if left alone on a windowsill will not grow. The Seed that Jesus talks about is God’s word being sown in people’s lives where it will take root and grow. Although for a time the seed seems inactive, Christians must not be anxious but trust in God’s timing and sovereignty.
Likewise, the Kingdom of God will grow when the Gospel is shared with others. I read online the testimony of a woman, who during this current pandemic was feeling utterly worthless – disappointed with life and did not want to live anymore. However, she decided that she would visit a church before making any final decision, and the turning point came for her during worship when she realised that God loved her deeply. She experienced total peace despite her life having been turned upside down! This woman did not know that her aunt had been praying for many years for her to come to know Jesus as her Saviour! Christians must continue to spread the gospel through prayer, word and actions, even when they do not see the results!
The other important thing to note in this text is that the Kingdom of God starts small, just like the mustard seed. No wonder Jesus’ disciples and his contemporaries did not understand that he was not here to establish a ‘political kingdom’! In fact, God’s kingdom is so contrary to earthly kingdoms in every way that it requires only what are probably seen as the lowest of human standards, such as, humility, servanthood and willingness to serve. However, even though it starts small, it grows beyond expectation. God’s word has far-reaching outcomes.
The final thought is that it will be unfortunate for us to assume that only when Jesus returns as judge and King, will he start his Kingdom. The New Testament clearly tells us that Jesus already began the work of the Kingdom when he was on this earth. And it is so small, so hidden and invisible in places that we do not have the faintest idea that God is already doing the work. Christians must not lose heart when they feel that God is inactive or absent, when they see so much suffering, evil and the power of darkness taking over this world. God is present and that He will bring justice for each evil perpetrated in His own time. This is my experience that God also brings peace and comfort to all who trust in Him.