Year 2 Day 102
Read - Mark 4:30-32
Message - Alan Burke
Again Jesus tells another parable of the kingdom of God, this time compared to a mustard seed. Now the mustard seed isn’t the smallest seed by far, but what is remarkable about the mustard seed is the size that it grows. The seed is about 2mm or there about, in the right conditions, say it was actually sunny and warm in our summers, that seed would grow and were talking not the size of a stalk of corn or barley, or pea plant, or tomato plant what ever your growing on your land or in your greenhouse or garden, rather it grows to about ten feet even up to fifteen feet high, that’s about three meters to four and a half meters for anyone who doesn’t work in imperial.
The point that Jesus is making is that this seed represents for this parable the kingdom of God (30), for the kingdom of God begins off like a mustard seed. It’s beginning may seem insignificant, it is so small, but the day will come when this small seed grows and becomes far greater than you could imagine it while holding it in your hand. It’s the same with the kingdom of God, Jesus the king was present among his people, he was there with his apostles gathered around him, fishermen, tax collectors, men who were unlikely going on to be world leaders or become anything important if Jesus had left them to do what they were doing before he called them. These men who had expectations of an earthly kingdom, may have wondered where following Jesus was going, and later their expectations would lie in ruin when their leader Jesus himself was crucified.
But this seemingly small insignificant start, with a band of ordinary Joe’s with a leader who would die three years into his ministry, was the beginning of the kingdom of God. It had all the appearance of something foolish, powerless, weak and feeble, contemptible and small, but it would shake the world, for as the first disciples went out preaching the message of Jesus, preaching Christ crucified that was a stumbling block to the jews and foolishness to the Greeks, telling people how the head of their new religion had been put to death on a cross, it was a beginning that none of them could have imagined.
At pentecost the church grew by three thousand (Acts 2:41), and then five thousand (Acts 4:4) it grew rapidly all because of the work of God, it spread to Antioch, Ephesus, Philipi, Corinth, it spread and grew wonderfully, across the world that we live in, in spite of it’s beginning the Kingdom of God had gown and spread. The kingdom of God is still growing, our task continues to scatter the seed, to preach the word, the church today may seem out of touch, the message of the cross continues to be a stumbling block and foolishness to those around us but God is at work, and the day will come when the kingdom will be revealed in all its glory.
The parable of the sower taught us that the preaching of the kingdom, that the word of God which is sown will not find a lasting reception in everyone who hears it. Those who do they will receive the word of God unto eternal life. There is no other explanation for the growth of Christ’s kingdom other than that it is the work of God. The continued existence and growth of Christ’s church is a powerful confirmation of His gospel. We need to remember that it God is the one who gives the growth. That is Jesus’ point in today’s passage. Like the sower who does not impart growth to the seed, believers who labor in the fields of the Lord’s harvest do not make the kingdom mature. That is the work of God alone.
Q104 What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
In the fourth petition, (which is, Give us this day our daily bread, (Matt. 6:11)) we pray, That of God’ s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them. (Prov. 30:8–9, Gen. 28:20, 1 Tim. 4:4–5)