Week 18 | The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Ezekiel 17:22-24: Then all the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord.
Psalm 104:1-18: My soul, bless the Lord!
Matthew 13:31-32: The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed...
Luke 13:18-19: What is the Kingdom of God like and what can I compare it to?
Jesus likens the Kingdom of Heaven to the mustard seed. The mustard seed is small and insignificant in the beginning. The seed grows up into something much bigger, and is bigger than the other “vegetables in the garden.” The plant grows branched and becomes like a tree that can be used for shade and is big enough for birds to build nests in.
Because most of the people hearing the story that day were Jewish, it may be that Jesus was using the metaphor of the mustard seed and its plant as a reference to the tree and the birds in order to show the importance of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 4:10-12. Both accounts show a small and insignificant beginning growing into something large.
Think about how Jesus came to earth!
From a small and insignificant beginning, a great and wondrous thing grows. For Jesus telling this story, the idea is that the Kingdom of God begins from the small beginning and grows into something huge, wonderful, and peaceful. This wonderful Kingdom provides shelter and other benefits for all.
Look at the Church today! From a small and insignificant beginning and starting with only a few people in an upper room; it soon bloomed into a group of three thousand and then in Acts 4:4, we see that the number of that group grows to nearly five thousand; and at the end of the book, of Acts it could be said that the whole world (at that time) had heard the gospel. Even now the Kingdom of God is growing and is (should be) providing peace and rest to those who need it.
The Take-Away? The intended outcome of this parable is to know the Kingdom of God is growing and is providing rest and peace.
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy:
Be gracious to all who have gone astray from thy ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of thy Word, Jesus Christ.