Friday, February 15, 2008

The Amazing Mustard Seed

I love Jesus’ parables.
And I think I understand most of them pretty well, as I’m sure do you .
But what we don’t realize is that sometimes we miss things because either we don’t understand the ‘laws’ of God’s creation or we don’t understand the culture the parables are set in.

I recently had the privilege to hear Dr. Karl Coke in a TV interview. I found him to be a fascinating man and have ordered his book… “A Proper Education”. -
(I'll post a book review when I have read it)

But what I want to share with you was an insight I gleaned from him regarding one of Jesus’ parables that I have always felt to be deeper than what is obvious.

In Matt. 13:31,32 Jesus says.. "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."

And again in Mat 17:20 "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. “

So both the kingdom and our faith are likened to the mustard seed.

To properly understand the parable then, we must first ‘observe’ the mustard seed.

Even the people to whom Jesus told the parable did not understand the mustard seed the way we are able to understand it today. Isn’t that a beautiful thing about Jesus’ teaching? No matter how much science advances, Jesus’ teaching just expands with it and remains Truth !!

There is something important that agricultural science has learned about the mustard seed.

Man has discovered how to make hybrid vegetables. The way this works is by changing the DNA. For example, to get corn to be perfect corn that bugs won’t eat .. you have to cross the corn DNA with cucumber DNA .
The ONLY way they can get the corn to accept the cucumber DNA is to introduce it through a virus. Make the corn “sick” and then it will accept the cucumber DNA and end up as hybrid corn.

What science has discovered is that mustard cannot be hybrided .. (is that a word? No worries.. it is now .. you just saw it in print!)
The mustard seed can never be anything other a mustard seed. It refuses all viruses and there is no way to make it anything other than what it is !!

Another thing about mustard seed is that it LOVES garbage . It grows best in the most contaminated , infested areas.

How interesting these bits of info are when we re-examine the parables in the light of our new understanding.

Jesus compares His kingdom to a mustard seed !
It can never be anything other than what He created it to be! No one can come and change it , nor introduce anything that will change its DNA – its self-defining code !! His Kingdom is an eternal kingdom! A kingdom that cannot be invaded , changed or destroyed !!!
I'm reminded of Rev. 21:17..
"But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of Life."

Then when we look at the mustard seed along side faith (our childlike trust) , it gets even more interesting.
The mustard seed is afraid of nothing !!
It grows where other plants would be choked out, withered for lack of nutrients, eaten by bugs, infested by disease. But the mustard seed thrives !!
Wow !! do you see the implications regarding our faith ?
Does your faith grow in difficult circumstances and in an impossible environment?
When it is tested beyond endurance does it turn a deaf ear and thrive ?

Do you allow a virus to infest your faith? And thereby allow all kinds of error , falsehoods or sin to destroy it ?
There is nothing that will make faith ‘sick’ except doubt ! Doubt is a virus that opens the door to all the enemies of faith …. the voices we listen to in our world, voices that speak with man's wisdom learned at the feet of secular humanism and of course the voices that tempt us into deception, error and sin!
All the voices of this world have behind them the father of lies, none other than the original great destoyer of faith in the Garden of Edon - "Did God REALLY say ?"

Is your faith like the mustard seed , imperious to the invasion of anything contrary to the Word of God? Is your faith.. like the mustard seed , unable to be shaken from its single-minded focus – “I am a mustard seed and I WILL GROW!! “

Are you , like the mustard seed… so tenaciously holding onto the Word of God that you believe nothing else?
The mustard seed though it be ever so tiny grows to be a tree big enough for birds to build their nests in its branches.
Is your faith big enough to move mountains? Big enough for others to lean on you and take strength for themselves by being encouraged by your words and example?

The mustard seed will take out of the soil only the nutrients that it needs to be a mustard seed. It leaves all else behind.
We are told what our faith needs to grow !! Do you take ONLY that and leave all else behind?

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God !” (Rom.10:17)

"Thank you , Lord, for the sermon in a mustard seed !"


Elsie said...

You're right, that new scientific discovery just makes for another interesting layer of truth in Jesus' parable!

James Janzen said...

Very interesting. I love the fact that "true" science just keeps proving God's existence.

Vicki said...

I agree with what Elsie and James said!

Lovella said...

Oh I love how science works. . just like God intended. Such interesting little facts.
Thank you Julie for the post that makes me think.

Sara said...

Julie, this is quite fascinating and even thrilling when one gives it the careful thought that you have.

I love science! More and more wonders are discovered every day that reveal ever more clearly how wonderfully creative and complex and beyond our comprehension is our God, who created all that science is so slowly uncovering....and why can't they see God there? Some do, but others chose to remain blind. But I love to learn about new discoveries...because they deepen my awe and amazement at our wonderful Creator and Father and Lord!

Demara said...

I love the fact that the mustard seed can not be hybrided and that it's compared to the kingdom of Heaven. I never thought of the mustard seed in such detail before. Wow! I will never eat mustard the same again. haha

Jayce said...

As much as I would like to hold to this explanation of the purity of the Mustard seed, science has now accomplished a hybrid version of the mustard seed.

See "India develops hybrid mustard seed"

Anonymous said...

Hey Jayce -

Maybe you should have looked a little deeper. There are several types of mustard seed. The new Indian hybrid is a "rapeseed-mustard" seed hybrid.

Wikipedia states (about the parables mentioned here) "The plant referred to here is generally considered to be black mustard."

So, you are not speaking of the same seed that Jesus was. Regardless of that fact, I think it was a couple thousand years after Jesus said it before anyone could hybrid even a cousin of the mustard seed.

Great post! I heard a sermon a few years ago that pointed this fact out.


Anonymous said...

that was a wonderful sermon i call it, i had heard that the mustard seed will not mix with anything else, thats why Jesus said if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, nothing mixed with it, nothing mixed with the word of god, praise god.

Dr Kem Thompson said...

Fantastic article! Echoes what I've just written in
Blessings to ya, sis!

Anonymous said...

Awesome depth! Thanks for sharing.

Winston Prakash said...

Wow! That really makes a lot of sense. I was searching for the facts about mustard seed in order to understand the mustard seed faith that Jesus is talking about and I found your blog.I have never understood rather under estimated the mustard seed faith. I was like have faith as small as a mustard seed and the mountain will be moved.but here is where I understood the higher standard of faith that Christ sets before us. Thank you for sharing.
God bless you loads.

Bedeborah said...

Oh, this is so wonderful, exactly what I was looking for. I love this!

Gary Sellars said...

Thank you for this page! I was looking for some confirmation of some things I'd heard. I'd encourage you to add footnotes/references so that those people who highly value credibility can not only verify and confirm what you've said, but also confidently use your page as a reference so it will see more traffic, which it deserves. :-)

Jesus is terrific.

BTW, regarding your remark that we know so much more now, of course that is true in many ways and will even increase, but I think the many wars, the diaspora, the dark ages and the great destruction caused by islam destroyed and lost a great deal of knowledge. In other words, I think the disciples understood what Jesus was saying about the mustard seed.

Consider that before the flood, most men lived over 900 years compared to less than 100 years (typically) today and that we continue to learn all our lives. Discoveries have been made that show some amazing technology of a few thousand years ago that we DO NOT have today, such as superior paint of the Egyptians and brass scalpels(!) much sharper than ones today. These have been used today; in fact, one doctor who was operated on insisted one of these brass scalpels was used and saw that it yielded smoother cuts which resulted in less damage to the skin and faster healing.

Think about this. we have the technology to make scalpels this sharp, yet that they haven't been, but were then reveals that they understood the value of the exceptionally sharp scalpel and we don't!

As an illustration of the lies we're told about previous knowledge, which is largely claimed by the ungodly to exalt the education_and_present_day_deceit_of_the_wicked, we're told that everyone used to believe the world was flat. That's absurd and a blatant lie.

I've never accepted that because I grew up on the beach and even as a child, I could see the curve of the earth from the beach (along with ships going down on the horizon), which means men of all time have been able to see the same thing.

Furthermore, one can search the Internet and find very old maps of the globe, proving it's a lie to claim that everyone thought the world was flat.

What many don't realize is there is motive in these lies. The motive is to convince the populace that "religion is an unfortunate carryover from the ignorance of the past but (blasphemous) education has enlightened us!" It's slewfoot at work.

Even the Book of Job references that the Lord "hangs the earth on nothing" and Isaiah refers to "the circle of the earth."

While some blasphemers like to pretend this doesn't mean what it plainly says, arguing that (the "ignorant" Bible authors meant) "the flat earth is a circle." At the time there was no Hebrew word for "sphere" so "circle" could reasonably be inclusive of the meaning of "sphere."

You might have noticed that the devil is using the sexual perverts and atheists to overwhelm every aspect of media with their propaganda to completely brainwash the younger generation.

Gary Sellars said...


My apologies. I'm a guy and don't multitask so well and said "brass" when it was bronze scalpels that were discovered.

Incidentally, obsidian scalpels, also about 4,000 years old have been discovered along with evidence of brain surgery (that was effective, because it's evident by the scull trying to reattach that the patient lived at least a couple more years.

This is the kind of evidence that the ungodly have largely refused to communicate to the public because it supports the Biblical understanding of intelligent, knowledgeable men, which is completely reasonable if men lived for almost a millennium.

Corey Pritchard said...

Wow. Thank you for this message. Couple this with the truth about the Gospel and we all would have so much more influence. Review the core of the king's intent her on earth. He did not preach about himself. He did not command others to preach about him either. The (good news) gospel is the message about God's Kingdom. Here and now, along with its benefits/influence. Thank you again.

PJ said...

Love this.
Could you tell me where you found the scientific I,for please.
I am working on a lesson and could use it.