If you look at the hills that surround Los Banos this time of year, you’ll see patches of yellow everywhere. Driving around town and looking at vacant lots you’re bound to see those yellow blooms growing tall and spreading rapidly.
It’s mustard and while to our eyes we see weeds, mustard planted in a field prevents erosion, suppresses weeds and alleviates soil compaction. By seeing how much mustard surrounds us you could say that a little mustard seed can go a long way. Jesus talked about those seeds.
“With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade” (Mark 4:30-32 ESV).
“And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6 ESV). Typically when we look at scripture, we read through the Western lens of our upbringing, however Jesus is speaking to a Middle Eastern people. Why is he using the mustard seed parable?
Jesus needed to relate to the people he was speaking to and he saw what they couldn’t see yet. Israel’s terrain is much like ours and when I visited there was mustard growing wild. Due to persecution, the early church was scattered to places they may never have gone otherwise. The more they were scattered, the more the Christian faith grew. That mustard seed parable was going to come in handy for them and for us.
While we don’t face persecution for our faith in this country, you and I are still mustard seeds that should be planted. When we are planted and rooted in a field we spread. The soil erosion of any place that we are planted should not be taking place. We uphold and undergird our community and our faith.
The Jewish people had a saying that you shouldn’t stand still in a field of mustard because it will grow up and around you. Never has being called a weed been so honorable. You have been given a Kingdom mandate. Go spread the Kingdom of Heaven like wildfire. Let’s scatter The Word to the ends of the earth.
Our declaration over you is one of abundance. May you have seed to sow when asked. May souls be born into the Kingdom and may His Kingdom fill the earth.