God’s Kingdom

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19)

“The making of a disciple means the creating of a duplicate.”
-Juan Carlos Ortiz

Here Jesus gives us a vivid contrast between the tiny size of the mustard seed and the great plant that grows from it. He likens it to the influence of the kingdom of heaven which appears small and insignificant but becomes a mighty force with far reaching effects. Preceding Mark’s account of this same parable, Jesus gives us another interesting story:

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grainfirst the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)

“God has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the fame of His name among the nations.”
-John Piper

Man scatters or sows the seed (the Good News of Jesus through the Word of God) and without human agency, in the mysterious sovereign work of God, the planted seed sprouts and begins to grow! God works in the life-bearing seed which, when planted in good soil, grows from stage to stage producing the grain without human intervention. How important it is that we are faithful in the sowing! Scripture tells us:

“Carrying God’s gracious offer involves human beings whom God has brought to Himself and then uses as His heralds. They share God’s message of salvation because He will save everyone who calls on His name. Paul quoted from Isaiah 52:7 concerning the eagerness of the bearers of good news. Those who bear it have beautiful… feet, that is, their message is welcome.”
-Bible Knowledge Commentary

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)

Are we eager bearers of the Good News of Jesus? Our Lord’s last command just prior to His ascension challenges us to share the Good News!

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Take It to Heart

Jesus’ commission was for all believers. As Jesus was always about His Father’s business, we too should be likewise.

“The salvation of one soul is worth more than the framing of a Magna Carta of a thousand worlds.”
-John Keble

How does this flesh out in a believer’s life since certainly not all are called to foreign missions? I believe each one of us has a mission field within our sphere of influence. Oftentimes we are the only Jesus many will “see.” So how are you doing? This is a high and worthy calling. Many will not hear our words because our lives are too loud. We often blend with the world and not with Christ. This is due to many things, not the least of which is ignorance to God’s will which is revealed through His Word. I will never forget many years ago when someone asked me if I thought it was acceptable for them to take a certain action that, evidently unbeknownst to them, was a blatant “No” in Scripture. This person was someone I thought had at least a basic knowledge of God’s Word. It left quite an impression on me. We must know God’s Word! We are all susceptible to sin–it is called human nature. But God’s Word will guide and guard us.

“The best protection against Satan’s lies is to know God’s truth.” (Anonymous)