One small seed and a great promise

Christ Jesus' parables were directed toward illuminating the nature of God's kingdom, which he told his disciples was even now at hand—"within you." And the lessons Jesus taught are still absolutely essential if we hope to comprehend the significance of the kingdom of heaven to our own lives today. The inspiration of his parables remains as fresh in a world of computers and superconductors and particle accelerators as it was two thousand years ago in a land of wooden plows and simple fishing boats and dusty roads traveled on foot or by donkey.

In Matthew's Gospel we're told of one particularly busy day in the life of Jesus. See Matt. 12:22–50; 13:1–53 . On this day there were confrontations with the Pharisees, dramatic healing work, and important preaching to the multitude in the Master's remarkable manner. And on this "same day," according to Matthew, Jesus taught several of his most powerful parables.

Among these was the parable of the mustard seed: "The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." Matt. 13:31, 32.

December 28, 1987

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