Monday, July 28, 2014


The mustard seed is nature's version of "good gifts in small parcels".  It was the smallest seed used by Palestinian farmers, yet, conditions permitting, could produce a tree over ten feet tall.  The smallness, hiddenness and insignificance of the seed belied its power to produce fruit.  Yeast is also rather like this.  Although its presence is hidden, bread will not rise or bake correctly without it.  Jesus told these parables to teach us some very important lessons about the spiritual life.

The parables of the mustard seed and the yeast reflect truths displayed in the life of Jesus and the power of the gospel. Dr. James Allen Francis, in his poem "One Solitary Life", tells the story of Jesus.
He was born of peasant stock into poverty in an obscure Palestinian hamlet. He worked as a carpenter until he was thirty.  He lived the life of an itinerant preacher for three years.  He owned no home and never married.  He had no credentials, no university education.  He never travelled more than 200 miles from his home. When he was a young man the tide of public opinion turned against him.  His friends deserted him and one denied ever knowing him. He was turned over to his enemies, forced to endure the mockery of a trial, and eventually crucified between two thieves.  His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he owned on earth - his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed grave.
Yet this hidden and apparently inconsequential life had become the very centrepiece of human historyAll the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever mobilized, all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the history of the world as much as this one solitary life.

There is a saying, "Never judge a book by its cover", and this story of "One Solitary Life" and the story of the mustard seed are surely all the evidence we need for why we must not judge others, no matter how they may present. There is no telling what lies within a person, what talent, what capacity.
Lord, teach me to be ever in awe of You, in awe of your power and your authority. Teach me not to judge, lest I be judged, but to seek out the good in others.
[Taken from "Bible Alive" July 2014]

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