THE POWER OF A TINY SEED
Lord, thank You for growing me from a mere seed
Read MATTHEW 13:31–43
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
New International Version (NIV)
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“Lord, purge our eyes to see / Within the seed a tree” (Christina Rossetti, 1830–1894). Ponder the way God uses small and easily disregarded things for his purpose.
The seeming limitations of the kingdom of heaven (32,33) and the opposition of the devil (39) will not throw God’s purpose off-course. The kingdom seems to lack both power and influence. It is unimpressive, imaged as a tiny mustard seed and a handful of yeast. It is out-gunned and out-numbered—but be careful how you judge importance and success. Size can be deceptive. Not that we glory in smallness, but we certainly never despise it or snuff it out (Matt. 12:20).
God brings about growth, increasing the influence and scope of his kingdom—a scope that will bring the birds (possibly a reference to the nations; Ezek. 31:6; Dan. 4:20–22) to find shelter. God transforms, but through the unlikely and insignificant—choosing to bring about growth by using small, easily dismissible things that, given time, carry huge influence. Such has always been his way. Consider Mary the mother of Jesus, “the Lord’s servant” (Luke 1:38), or another Mary, Mary Slessor (1848–1915), brought up in the slums of Dundee and chosen by the people of Calabar, Nigeria, as one of their people of the millennium for her service saving children who would otherwise have been killed. The image of yeast or leaven may allude to “disreputable characters” (Michael Green, The Message of Matthew, 158), since leaven often carries very negative, even evil, connotations in Judaism.
Parables reveal secrets: secrets of another kingdom which challenges and reframes the way we think about how the world works. We no longer view the world and judge merely by what we see: good and evil fighting for the same ground, unsure of the outcome. The end will reveal the folly of such thinking. There is a forthcoming accounting, and God’s judgment will be exercised. The small and challenged will be honored; the kingdom of their Father will reign supreme.
You are someone to whom God has made known “the mystery of his will” (Eph. 1:9). What will you do with that knowledge today?
Lord, kingdom mysteries defy human comprehension. But we take by faith that what You say is the truth.