Monday, October 29, 2007

The Mustard Seed

I was reminded yesterday of how many times Jesus used the mustard seed as an example in His teaching. I know of seven times (there may be more) that Jesus talked about mustard seeds. Matthew 17:20says, He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." We all know the verse that says "All things are possible with God", but talking to a mountain and having it actually move is kind of 'out there' for most of us, yet God said we could do just that. What is the key to moving those mountains? Faith - even faith as small as a mustard seed.

So what is the big deal about a mustard seed? In order for us to understand what Jesus is saying, we need to know a bit more about those crazy mustard seeds He keeps telling us about.
The mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds, yet when planted it grows to huge heights. The Bible tells us in Mark 4:31-32 that birds find shelter under a mustard tree. Luke 13:19 says, "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." In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a mustard seed meaning that small actions can lead to big results.

Another thing we need to know about the mustard seed is that it flavors everything it is put into. In fact, the flavor of the mustard seed is so strong that if eaten by itself, it produces great pain for the poor person who ate it. Even though that mustard seed is tiny, it has huge flavor and huge impact. Our faith and Christian walk should be like that mustard seed. It should flavor our every action. Even though we are just one tiny person on the planet, we have to believe that we can have a huge impact for the Kingdom of God. We get so comfortable in our little routines, we forget that God may have something bigger and better for us. Even more often, we don't have the faith to believe we can do the 'bigger, better' things God would have us do.

In Matthew, Jesus wasn't telling the disciples to just continue on having little faith. He was saying that your faith may start out as small as a mustard seed, but if you press on and press in that faith will grow into something huge and something that can be seen by everyone. Faith as a mustard seed is just the starting point not the general requirement as many people think it is. He was telling them and telling us that faith as a mustard seed can permeate who you are and God can accomplish great things through you. Maybe I am wrong, but I truly don't think most people get the whole mustard seed analogy. We talk the talk, but when the rubber meets the road do we walk the walk? Do we really believe we can move mountains and do BIG BIG BIG things for God? Some of us do, some of us don't. I want to be one that believes that I can speak to a mountain and it will move.

10 comments:

Fran said...

Good word of encouragement my friend. Thank you! You know I love this stuff.

Blessings friend! And, here's to HUGE faith....

Alana said...

This is such a hard thing for me. I struggle with this even though God has always proven faithful. Ugh. Thanks for the reminder.

Jennifer Partin said...

Have you heard or see the mustard seed necklace? I want to get one for my daughter for her birthday. I will have to print out your post and share it with her. Thanks Bethanne!

He Knows My Name said...

thanks bethanne for this word. i have a charm bracelet from my childhood my mom created for me with a magnified mustard seed. this is so precious for me. did you happen to listen to yesterdays lesson beth taught on romans 5? i never thought about God counting as righteousness our opportunities to believe him in faith as abraham did. i hope i stated that correctly.

i do have mountains in my life right now and i am findng my faith coming and going like waves in the sea. i might as well say it cause He already knows it.

preaching to myself right now: without faith it is impossible to please God... heb 11:6

~janel

BethAnne said...

Jennifer, I haven't ever heard of a mustard seed necklace - I need to see one. If you get one for your daughter, put a pic of it on your blog so I can see what it is - sounds neat.
Janel, I didnt hear Beth (I assume you mean Beth Moore) yesterday - she only comes on Wednesdays here. I will pray for you - we all go through times where our mountains seem bigger than our God -- but thankfully they never are!

Renee said...

I love visiting your blog, because I know I will get fed while I'm here.

Thank you for being you!

Abby said...

wise woman, i have missed you!!! :)

Earen said...

A great spiritual posting again. You're so right too! How often we say we have faith but when push comes to shove we don't quite make it there. I too struggle with this, thinking I have faith & then taking it back into my own hands. I'm with you though, I want to move that mountain! Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

Just thought I would add another thought on the mustard seed. when I purchased a pack of mustard seeds it said that theses seeds could be planted at any time of the year. And that it could also be harvested throughout the year. That reminds me of being in season and out of season. like the mustard seed we can be used throughout the year and also see the benefits of being a believer at any time

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