TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, April 11, 2019:
A plant whose seed makes into a powder or paste.
Jesus used a parable to put forth to the multitude, as He preached the Sermon on the Mount, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Today we look at the parable of the mustard seed that Jesus taught as recorded in Matthew 13. Jesus used parables to teach His truths, as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so also are the parables that are the word pictures Jesus used to teach His truths.
The sower in this parable is Jesus and the mustard seed that Jesus referred to in this parable is the church in its very beginning that began with just Jesus and His disciples.
Jesus is teaching His disciples that His church will be like a mustard seed. It is a small seed but it grows into a tree spreading out its roots and branches. On the day of Pentecost, after Jesus ascended into heaven, the small group of Jesus’s followers began its phenomenal expansion. Like the mustard seed it continued to grow, branching out into other nations of the world.
God planted the seed, the Church, into His field which is the world. The birds may represent those who come to the tree, hear the gospel, receive it and take refuge in its branches.
Again, the mustard seed that Jesus refers to in this parable is the Church. Look at what happened in the development of the Church. Remember the Church referred to here is the body of believers that believe in Jesus, not a building. Christ launched the movement all by Himself. It began in the soul of one man, Jesus, a carpenter from the obscure village called Nazareth.
The message and work of the kingdom was carried forth by men without position and prestige. They were not mighty, noble, rich or famous. They were common folk. They began with very little faith but continued to grow under their teacher, the very Son of God. The body of believers numbered only about 120 people when Christ departed from this earth.
The bush, represents all believers who believe in Jesus throughout the world. It has grown from small beginnings into a great tree with spreading branches. Not only did God grow His Kingdom through the early believers but God continues to grow His Kingdom through His faithful followers each and every day.
This parable is an encouragement to every believer that what we plant He will grow. It encourages us in our personal lives and ministries. It encourages us to look forward to our hope in eternity where we will be rewarded for our faithful labor. It should encourage us to reach out to the world around us and proclaim the good news of the gospel.
Jesus through this parable teaches us that just as the birds come to the mustard tree to nest in the safety of the branches, we are to come to Him to find safety in His outstretched arms reaching out to us to bring us into His Kingdom. We are to come to Him first and then live and walk with Him. Where do you stand? Are you a believer or a non-believer? He is waiting for you to come and become a child of God and a joint heir with Jesus in the Kingdom of God.
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Timothy 4:2.
Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.
Thank You for this parable of the mustard seed that teaches us that Your church is ever growing. How grateful we are that You established Your church, a body of believers that we can be part of and can reach out to the world and share the good news of the gospel that You gave to us.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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