The Seed planted in the Ground
Translated by Allan Liang
Jesus spoke often in parables when he taught; the parables concerning the kingdom of heaven were particularly intriguing. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven was as a mustard seed planted in the ground, the smallest of all seeds, from which large branches sprung up. This is commonly regarded as Jesus’ shortest parable, found also in two other gospel books, Matthew (13:31-32) and Luke (13:18-19). These places speak of the same parable and describe the same things: the kingdom of Gods begins as small and grows to great proportions. This is truly an amazing parable. We often imagine that the kingdom of God comes in great splendor and unfathomable might, but Jesus gives us another picture of the kingdom of heaven: beginning from a mustard seed that is often neglected, it is buried by soil and grows to become a large tree that has many branches and leaves. Through such parables, the Word of Jesus entered the hearts those who listened, and allowed them to understand the nature of the kingdom of heaven. Today, what is our understanding of the kingdom of heaven? If we see the small aspect, do we truly believe that it will one day become something quite unlike what is small, in fact something great? This is the teaching of the Lord. Though it begins as something small, we do not lose hope, for being planted in soil, it may sprout at any given time and grow until it reaches maturity. God has ordained for it to grow large, no matter how small of seed it began as, multiplying many times in size and ultimately taking on the form of a large tree.
This contrast of small to large allows us to understand that the kingdom of God will certainly expand, from the smallest of seeds to becoming so large that even birds may perch under its shade, possessing a force that cannot be impeded. This is the faith and hope that we are to hold even when we do not see the trees, for God has given us the promise of making this seed grow big, and making our weak faith unshakable, until we see a vast forest before us. Brothers and sisters, we do not know how much longer this pandemic will persist, but we know that God will give us faith to trust in his strength, so that in times of fear, we may live out the true faith, and walk with God. Please meditate with prayer: has this pandemic allowed to grow closer with God, and has it enabled me by faith, to see the guiding hand of God in the midst of our families?