‘It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.’ – NIVUK
What do you plant in your life?
Can you see your life as a tree?
Jesus has just had an argument with a Synagogue leader because he was criticised for healing a woman on the Sabbath.
The only things you were permitted to do on the Sabbath were to go and pray publicly or at home. Food had to be prepared the previous day. It was to be a complete day of rest.
Jesus took pity on a woman who had had a debilitating illness for eighteen years. He saw this as God’s work.
The Synagogue leader was wrapped up in the man-made laws surrounding this day of rest. He was completely unconcerned about the plight or the healing of the woman.
In response to this Jesus teaches him about the Kingdom of God.
Israel’s expectation was that the Messiah would come in triumph and over throw their oppressors. They expected a military leader who would restore the nation to power and might.
Jesus tells them the the coming Kingdom was starting with the mustard seed – the tiniest of seeds – but would eventually grow into a great tree, whose branches would become home to many types of birds.
He was teaching that the Kingdom would not just consist of the nation of Israel.
Jesus’ continual references to going plants and seeds in his parables was a common ‘language’ for the majority of his listeners. The majority of people lived rurally and would grow some food to eat and also keep a few animals.
For many of us growing is a separation of commercial growing for food, and personal plants for visual aesthetic, if you are lucky enough to have a garden.
We can use this growing metaphor and apply it to ourselves as well.
If we plant the smallest of seeds – if we begin with a positive intention – and tend the soil and care for its growth – attend daily to develop that first positive action – over a period of time the seed will become a tree – the habit will become a strength and be clearly seen by others – eventually providing a home for the birds amongst the branches – and will prove a blessing to many others as well as ourselves.
What seed could you plant in your lives?
Do you want to be more creative or organised? Do you want to learn a musical instrument? Do you want to learn a foreign language? Do you want to learn to cook better?
Do you want to develop the courage to talk to more people? Do you want to find ways to do small positive actions for those in your lives? Do you want to be fitter and healthier?
All of these things will enable you to develop those branches and bless the people who come within their reach.
If you ever get the chance to watch the documentary-movie Skid Row Marathon then I would highly recommend it.
A Los Angeles Judge is a keen runner. He is then asked by a man who he convicted and sent to jail to go down and see the Midnight Mission which was helping him get back on his feet after his release from prison.
The Judge is encouraged to help out with the Mission, so he starts a running club.
Watch the film – it is uplifting and will leave you teary eyed at the same time.
The Judge’s seed was his love of running. The tree grew as the running club developed. In the branches miracles happened.
What is the first seed you will plant?