Yup! We are starting this study off with a double header! And why not?! The parables are related and go together nicely, so let’s get started!
Parable of the Growing Seed
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29, NIV)
Parable of the Mustard Seed
Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 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 4:30-32, NIV) (Also found in Matthew 13:31-32 and Luke 13:18-19)
Agricultural parables were frequently used by Jesus in His teachings. The reason is simple: people were able to understand them! During His time, many people worked in fields, making them intimately familiar with what Jesus was describing. Today, not as many people work in the agricultural industry, and even those who do may not fully understand what is being said because they work in the wrong area!
In each parable, the seed represents the Word of God. “A seed being planted,” is a theme scattered throughout the Bible in reference to a person hearing the Word of God for the first time. Repetitive hearings of God’s Word, and independent study is considered watering the seed to help it grow. Have you ever planted a seed, and provided water, so that it will grow? Hearing the Word of God, attending church, Bible studies, and Godly fellowship is all part of the growing and watering process!
This months parables were carefully chosen. A mustard seed is TINY! Seriously! If I were to hold it between by thumb and forefinger, you would barely be able see it up close, much less from far away! It is approximately 1-2 millimeter in diameter. On its own, it would look like a speck of dust. TINY!! A mustard bush, or tree, on the other hand, can grow to be over 12 feet tall and spread its branches out wide, providing shade and shelter for all who come to rest under it.
God’s Word starts as a tiny mustard seed in all of us. God’s Word cannot be stopped from being sowed (planted). Once planted, the seed begins to grow. The question for us is, how does it grow? Is the seed cultivated and watered? Or is it left in neglect? Are you on your way to becoming a useful mustard bush?
For more information regarding how your financial support can help, please click here.