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The parable of the mustard seed

Matthew 13, 31-32

Material:

Sweet and strong mustard, inflatable toy and cress seeds

The story – the parable

„The kingdom of heaven is similar to a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed into his field; that is the smallest of all seeds, but when it is fully grown it is larger than all other herbs and becomes a tree, so large that the sky’s birds come and nest in its branches.“

Which type of mustard are you?

[Everyone tastes a bit of sweet mustard and a bit of strong mustard and can say which one tastes better.]

Apart from mustard, I have brought something else with me. I will show you what we can do with it: (A folded up inflatable toy is blown up to full size)

I will now explain to you what mustard and this hand have to do with the bible: In the bible, Jesus tells us a parable. In this parable, the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed into his field; that is the smallest of all seeds, but when it is fully grown it is larger than all other herbs and becomes a real tree, so large that birds come and nest in its branches.) That is the parable.

The thing with the mustard seed is obvious. A mustard seed is sown. I have looked this up in an encyclopaedia. I mustard seed has a diameter of approx. 1 millimetre. The mustard seed grows into a mustard tree which can become 3 meters high, therefore 3000 times larger than the mustard seed. Gold finches and chaffinches come to the tree and eat the seeds. That was the description in the encyclopaedia.

The most important thing in this parable is the extreme change in size

The most important thing in this parable is the extreme change in size from very small to an impressive size. It is the same with the inflatable toy beforehand. At the beginning it is folded up very small, and then it is blown up and becomes a good size.

The subject in the parable is the kingdom of heaven. What does Jesus want to tell us? We do not need a lesson in plant culture. Jesus wants to show us that God can make small things very large. He wants to show us that God has the power to make earth moving events from the smallest of beginnings. We can find examples of this everywhere in the bible, Jacob for example: A little fraudster, who always boxed his brother’s ears but became a great person. Or Moses: As a child, he is abandoned next to the Nile, is hauled onto the Pharaohs courtyard and then leads the people of Israel out of Egypt. God often looks for people who do not seem to have much to offer and has great plans for them.

The best example of a small start, which became the biggest event in the history of the world, is Jesus himself. He was born in a manger in a stable: Totally insignificant, poor and wretched. Then he died on the cross to save us all. This was the largest life saving action in world history. Another example is the disciples: Everything started with 12 disciples of Jesus and a few hangers-on. Now there are several million Christians in the world. Small became large. Now we can ask ourselves the question:

Is everything really like that?

Is it true that God can have a great effect or is it the same as the inflatable toy? If I were to stick a pin in it, the air would escape and it would collapse. It is therefore really true that God can work great things or is it simply the people themselves, who must apply themselves?

Did the disciples in those days simply have good publicity for the faith and over time, more and more people just fell into it?

I have found a good reference in the bible (comparison: The advice of Gamaliel - Acts 5, 34-42): The disciples or “apostles”, under which they were also known, are taken prisoner for their activities and placed in front of the courts. The judge deliberated about what he should do with them and even wanted to kill them. Then a Pharisee spoke up and said: „ Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. “(38-39) That is the point: I do not believe that Christianity would still exist after two thousand years of oppression, persecution and war etc. if God were not behind it.

God can work big things – from the smallest of starts

I believe that God can do great things. I believe that God can make something earth shattering from the smallest of things and I believe that God has a plan for each person and wants to change something in the world through us. I would like to ask you: Do you also believe that God has a plan for you?

Do you believe that God wants to change the world through you? Do you believe the God can work great things? Do you also believe that God can create earth moving things from something very small e.g. a short prayer? So that you can still remember something of what I have said once you go home, I have brought something with me: Don’t worry, it isn’t mustard. I have brought you some cress seeds. It is written on it: „God has the power to make small things large (Matthew 13, 31-32) “ You can sow these seeds on a piece of moist kitchen roll. You will not manage to get a 3 meter tall tree from it but cress does taste good. The main thing is that you remember that God really has the power to make small things large. And now you can ask yourselves: Do you believe this too?

Author: This entry comes from Christopher M.


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