Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jesus' Parable that Will Encourage 9.5% Christians in Malaysia (A Reflection on Mark 4:30-32)

What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?” asked Jesus. “What parable shall we use to explain it? It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade” (Mark 4:30-32, GNB).

This is the last of Jesus’ series of parables in the Book of Mark. What is the Kingdom of God is like? In the previous parable Jesus was telling that the Kingdom growth caused by the Word (sharing and living) is illustrated as hidden from us, yet it growth gradually, and in the end it will produce fruit. This is sure. (To Read click HERE). In case we don’t get it – especially for people like me – Jesus now gave another parable to illustrate “the Kingdom of God.” But first, as urbanized-Malaysian citizen, I need to ask this question: What is this “mustard seed” that Jesus is talking about?

Thanks to Google and Wikipedia, I manage to find the answer that I need to know. The seed is generally considered to be a black mustard seed. When it grow it can reach up to 9 feet (or 2.7 meter) tall. It is, however, is not technically “the smallest seed in the world” but the smallest seeds sown in a garden and to the hearers of Jesus’ day, a mustard seed is the smallest seeds they have ever known. The potential in this small seed is enormous. “It grows up and become the biggest of all plants [in the garden].” Soon, its branches become rigid, and the plant often serves as a shelter for birds of many kinds. “The birds come and make their nests in its shade.” The tree now become a blessing. Very useful!

The meaning of this parable is quite clear: the Kingdom of God would have a small beginning and then increases mightily and usefully that it would be beneficial to the whole world. Imagine “the twelve disciples and others who were gathered around” Jesus would felt when they heard this (Mark 4:10). This small band would be a part of something that would grow bigger and bless the world immensely. It is happening today! Imagine this: there are only about 9.5% Christians in Malaysia today but if God’s Word is true, if this minority are faithful to God, God can (will!) do great things in Malaysia despite its small numbers. Wherever we are, the Kingdom of God is destined to be awesome regardless of its small beginnings. Trust in Jesus. Have faith in Jesus. Abide in Jesus, the King of kings. Let the Word of God spread among the nations!

The Kingdom of God is looking for…
People who have vision, faithful and passionate for Jesus
People who are willing to put the Kingdom of God first in their lives and bless others.
People who are willing to abide in Him forever.
Are you the one?
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