Friday, March 3, 2006

The Seed of the Kingdom

Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32)
The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It starts out very small; it grows up and becomes huge, offering refuge for all who would come under its shade. The life of the kingdom and the entire pattern of its development is all within the seed at the very beginning. When it hits the soil, it goes to work and begins to emerge.

Jesus also talked about faith as a mustard seed:
If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,” and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6)
It is not the size of the seed that matters, but what you do with it. It must be planted, then it can bring about amazing, seemingly impossible results. The way you plant faith as a mustard seed is by what you say. Jesus said, “If you have faith … you can say” (see also Mark 11:22-23, below).

In the same way, the kingdom of God is planted by words. In the parable of the sower, earlier in Mark 4, Jesus identifies the seed as the word (v. 14). In Matthew it is called the “word of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:19). Luke’s account identifies it very plainly: “The seed is the Word of God” (Luke 8:11).

When the seed hits the soil, it immediately goes to work and starts to grow. Likewise, when the Word of God, the word of the kingdom, comes into the world, it immediately goes to work and begins to grow. For the world was created by the Word of God in the first place(Hebrews 11:3), therefore it must always respond to it.
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
(Isaiah 55:10-11)
It is by the Word of God that the kingdom comes forth and flourishes. It does not matter whether that Word is in God’s mouth or ours, it will always produce when it is spoken in faith. For Jesus has given all those who believe in Him the authority to speak the Word of God and call forth the kingdom of God upon the earth. He taught us to pray, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10).
Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)
The Word of God, whether in His mouth or in ours, is the seed that brings forth the kingdom of God on the earth.