Today’s reading is Mark 3 and 4. We focus on Mark 4:30-32.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
Have you have ever thought about the fact that at the time Jesus lived and the Bible was written, they did not even know the land which most of reading this live in, the United State, even existed? Yet, there are now approximately 205 million Christians in the United States which is the largest population of Christians in any one country in the world and just under 2.4 Billion total Christians in the world. This is not to mention all the Christians who once lived and have now “fallen asleep” as Paul and many of the other New Testament writers says. How do this many people come to faith in a man named Jesus who was born not to kings and queens but to little known Joseph and Mary in the small town of Bethlehem? How did the Kingdom of God grow like the mustard seed Jesus describes? Simple…Jesus poured into His 12 disciples and the Holy Spirit did the rest through them.
My question for you today is the following…who are you pouring into so the Kingdom of God and the Holy Spirit can go to work? Yes, we are called to pour into our spouses and our children and help them know and draw nearer to Jesus, but what about those that don’t have a family member in their life. Or, I was just speaking with a few friends recently about how it’s not always a spouse or parent who can help draw someone closer to Jesus or their life’s directions…it’s often a friend or non-family member mentor. They have heard it too much from them..the same things for years. They need to hear it from a different voice and someone else who they connect with. If you’ve ever coached someone, you may have experienced that you keep suggesting they do X. They don’t do it even though you keep telling them. Then, someone else tells them to do X, and they come to you and say, “You know..I was talking to so and so, and they suggested I do X…I really think I should do that.” (Insert hand over face emoji here)
My next question is..are you creating enough buffer in your life to pour into someone who needs it? Or are you telling yourself the same things I do either consciously or subconsciously that you don’t have the time or that it will pull you away from the time you need to spend with your spouse or own children? I’ve made all the same excuses. This is Satan whispering in our ear. We must remember that God has given each one of us a story, our own story, that is part of His bigger story, and I believe each of our individual stories are written to help us reach others who it will resonate with for their salvation and His glory. You could be the voice (or really the Holy Spirt) through you that helps them find Jesus or improve their relationship with their spouse, children, or find the purpose and direction they are looking for. This not only effects them..but their friends and future generations of their family who they may then lead to a better life and salvation in Jesus. There are infinite branches that will come off the tree from the seed that is planted as evidenced through Jesus pouring into just 12 individuals in a little area east of the Mediterranean Sea and the number of followers of Jesus over the last 2000 years since and hundreds of generations in different parts of the world.
The phrase “casting shade” does not have a good meaning in our society today because it references stealing someone’s sunshine so to speak. It means taking away from something good they have done. However, in these verses Jesus just doesn’t talk about the Kingdom of God growing like a tree..but also how that tree helps us find shade in a positive way. It is a place for us to dwell and live that helps protect us from the troubles of this world. Not that we won’t have trouble in this world, but that we know where to go and who to go to..our Savior Jesus. And we know that no matter what troubles we face, our true and final home and resting place when we fall asleep is in Heaven.
Who can you help find some shade by investing a little time and planting a seed?
As Jerry McCorkle, the director of Spread Truth Ministries in Bloomington, IL says, “You never know the power of one conversation.”