“The smallest of all the seeds…becomes the largest of plants”

Today, Jesus turns from the disciples to the crowds to relay more parables to them, this time on the Kingdom of God (Mk 4:26-34).  We find out that Jesus did not speak to the multitudes without parables, but explained them all to His disciples privately.  Here Jesus famously compares the Kingdom to a small mustard seed that grows into a large plant “so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” (v. 32)  Think of how Jesus initiated the Kingdom: He was smaller than a mustard seed in His mother’s womb.  Nine months later He was born to humble parents in a stable.  He lived a hidden life for thirty years before beginning His public ministry.  Few observing Jesus during this time would have marked Him for greatness.  Even His relatives and neighbors were surprised at His ministry (cf. Mk 6:2-6).  Yet He accomplished great things.  With the grace of God, even though we may consider ourselves ordinary and nondescript as a tiny seed, we too can accomplish great things for the Kingdom.  In any walk of life, or any circumstance, we can glorify the Lord.  Consider how many persons might find “shade” in your “branches” (or even make a “nest” there — cf. Mt 13:32 and Lk 13:19) through words and actions that always reflect Christian values.  Unattainable?  We do well to recall another instance when Jesus speaks of mustard seeds: “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Mt 17:20)

 

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