Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mustard Seeds

In the Gospels, Jesus likens the Kingdom of God to a mustard plant. I had always understood that story as meaning that the Kingdom starts out small, but then grows into something great to which everyone will eventually pledge allegiance (this all would happen during the future millennial kingdom). Evidently, Jesus had something different in mind.

To the Jews of the first century, mustard was a managed weed. It could be useful, but needed to be tightly controlled. Evidently it was against Jewish law to plant mustard in a garden. If managed well it grew into a large shrub, but not anything we would call a tree.

The Jewish concept of the Kingdom of God was something that was big and powerful, like the cedar tree. It was something that would come with a bang, and everyone would know it was here. When Messiah came, he would restore the throne of David to its former glory. Israel would take its rightful place as the premier nation. Jesus turned that upside down. He stated that the kingdom would be something that started small and worked its way along like a mustard plant, like a weed that grew in places where it was unexpected, and unwanted. It would be a large shrub, not a majestic cedar. The common fowls would flock to it, not the majestic birds like the eagle.

The Kingdom of God is not out there in front. It is not found in human glory or national pride. Many times it is invisible, as it works its way through society. It is found in unexpected places, inside the four walls of a church, and outside where people live their lives. Too often we miss it. Regardless of how small the kingdom may appear, it is powerful. It breaks down barriers as it works into the cracks. It flavors life for its subjects and those they encounter. It cannot be contained in our neat little gardens, sometimes it can't even be found there.

The Kingdom of God is open to all who wish to enter, even those who are at the bottom of the ladder. Many who are looking for a kingdom that arrives with power and glory may stand in danger of missing the true King. As Jesus told Pilate, his kingdom is not of this world.

Follow this King and enter his kingdom. Be part of the mustard plant.


Anonymous said...

Great post, my friend!

Indeed, I am continuing to learn by Papa Jesus Holy Spirit's revelations in my mind and heart, and through others to me, just how incredible amazing the Kingdom of God is. I appreciate your history of the Mustard Seed and Plant, of which I didn't know.

Truly, the Jews of Christ's day, expected Him to "come in like a bang" (the Cedar), but Jesus taught and demonstrated that the Kingdom of God works completely the opposite of what mankind's ideas of kingdom life.

I am greatful the Kingdom of God IS totally different than those of this world, and that Papa Jesus Holy Spirit work in amazing Love.

The Kingdom is here! It already has been ushered in from the day Jesus was born on Earth! It's a matter of us living in this Reality!

In essence, we Christ-followers are experiencing Relationship with the King (God as Jesus, Abba, and Holy Spirit) and will continue to do so from now and INTO Eternity! It is such a profound reality. We may not be able to "see" it tangibly, but it is so very, very real, because our hearts, connected to the Holy Spirit, enables us to experience it and KNOW that it is a very, very true reality!

~Amy :)

Jeff McQ said...

Bro, I *really* like this analogy. That is an insight to the parable I had honestly never heard, but one that makes perfect sense in the light of what we're seeing and experiencing. I have to this take on the mustard plant something you have discovered in your own studies, or is it something you picked up from someone else along the way?

For me...I picked it up from someone else...just now. :) Thanks!

co_heir said...

Thank you for your comments. As always, they add value to whatever I have written.

I got the basic perspective from Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. It's a take on the parable that I had never heard before. I just put some of my own thoughts with it.

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