Once Jesus was teaching his disciples about the Kingdom of God and he offered them this parable:

“What is the Kingdom of God like? With what shall I compare it? The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. A farmer takes it and plants it in his field. Even though the mustard seed is the tiniest of seeds, when it is grown, it surpasses all the other herbs and becomes the greatest of trees. So wide are its branches that the birds of the air come make their home in them!”

 I’ve heard it said (I can’t remember by who) that the Parables of Jesus are a wading pool for tiny children to play in and a vast ocean for sailors to explore. That has certainly been my experience. This simple little parable is easy enough for a child to grasp, yet it rewards continual meditation. Rather than give you some didactic explanation of what this parable is trying to say, let me instead offer you some questions to ponder while you meditate upon this parable yourself. What exactly does the seed represent? Is it a good deed, seemingly small and unnoticed? Is it the message of the Gospel planted in our hearts? Is it a small faithful band of disciples who will one day be the Church? Is it Christ, Himself, a man of no consequence, buried beneath the earth? Is it our own mortal bodies awaiting glory? Is it the promise of God beginning as a covenant with one man, growing until it eventually encompasses all of creation? Is it the life of the disciple that begins with a simple act of saying “Yes” to Jesus and continues until we are finally transformed into the likeness of Christ? Is it all of these or something else entirely?  See what I mean? You could probably meditate for a week on the mustard seed, to say nothing of the mysterious farmer, the dark soil, the majestic tree, and the many pilgrim birds which find safety in the outstretched branches pointing toward a bright blue heaven.

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…

2 thoughts on “The Mustard Seed

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