questioning Jesus, Mark 4 -his kingdom

10 Aug

Mark 4 is a rich chapter. Within it we have 4 ( four ) majors aspects of the gospel: Jesus’ teachings ( parables, including, but not limited to ‘The sower and the seed’, with his full explanation ); Jesus’ life, as well as his disciples; and the storm on the lake.

Today, I wish to focus in on another parable dealing with seeds, the mustard seed,


Jesus is, again, teaching on a subject dear to him, and us, his kingdom.

‘….he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 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.”

In the hot, dry Middle East this seed grows add nd provides shade even for birds perched within its leaves. They can sit in the shade, be cool and rest; see around them and feel the life of this tiny mustard seed.

The word, a word from Jesus, planted in the soil’s heart, blossoms into a shade tree for all, even ourselves.

His response planted mustard seed shades not just our outside self- our family and friends; our work and relationships, but shades on insides. Our resentments and hurts; our disappointments and failures; our angers and self-pities. All is shaded, cooled and rested, by and in this word, his word. This parable.

The Jewish teachers at the time used parables in their teachings. The people were very familiar with their, this form of teaching. But they used it to serve as anecdotes, as illustrations of points in their analysis of the law, as they understood it.

Jesus ‘throws’ the parable alongside his main point: “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like,…’ and then, as if speaking out loud to himself… ‘or what parable shall we use to describe it?’

Jesus’ two questions here lead to only one essential point, principle: his kingdom is a seed that grows both within and without. And it gives peace, shade and rest in all who receive it.

By receiving the kingdom comes; grows; lives; comforts, as shade.

Receive his seed. For that is how we understand and grow.

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable.But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

Questions and parables, lead to the kingdom. His kingdom comes.

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