The mystery of a seed
Matthew 13:31,32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18,19
BCBC/IOUC; 2/7/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
What is the seed? It is the embryo of life. What is embryo? If you keep asking, you will find that we actually don’t have an answer. The only thing left is the mystery, agree? So, what is the mystery? In fact, a mystery is something we don’t know, unless God reveals it to us. Let’s take a look at the first point:
The planting of life
Seeds are for planting, right? Who is the seed mentioned in the Bible? Who is the one plants it? What is the reason? Maybe these questions should make us think. First of all, Heavenly Father is the planter. This is particularly critical. This is the origin of seeds. All seeds in the world are connected to the creation of the Father, right? On the first day of creation, He sowed a seed of light on the universe and skies of the universe, so that there was light! What is the second seed? Yes, it is water. What about the third seed? It’s air. Then, there are grass, vegetables, trees, stars, and all kinds of living things, including people and so on. Later, because of Adam’s sin, the Father planted a special seed, the seed of salvation, the Son Jesus Christ. This is the first mystery of our sermon today that Heavenly Father is the source for all creation.
Secondly, the Lord is the first seed. How do you know that the Lord is the first seed? Who said it? The Lord himself said, he said: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (John 15:1) “Trees grow from seeds. From the perspective of the classification of seeds, Heavenly Father gives two types of seeds of general revelation and special revelation. Creation is about general revelation and salvation is about special revelation. This is the second mystery, that is, Christ is the true seed. There is no other than Him. Other seeds that can be saved. The connection from the Father to the Son, Christ Jesus, is our way to penetrate all spiritual mysteries, truth and life. The Father uses Christ as the seed to plant, what about us? What do we do?
Lastly, we are the seeds sowed by God. How do we know that we are the seeds sowed by God? It is also what the Lord said, He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. (Matthew 13:37)” The Lord sowed the good seed, of course. Are we good seeds? Not by works, but by faith. The affirmation that we are good seeds is the spiritual foundation for us to produce the good fruits. Since we are sinners, we will sin. Similarly, we are the sinners saved by grace, we are the sinners received God’s grace and salvation, we are the good seeds that God Himself sowed on the good soil. Therefore, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. It is our weakness to stumble and sin, and bearing the fruit of the Spirit is the promise of God’s presence. At the end, we can be more than conquerors through the Holy Spirit. This is the third mystery. Let’s take a look at the second point:
The growth of life
The seeds are planted, next is the issue of growth, right? If it were you, how would you grow? First, start with humbleness. This should be the fourth mystery, right? It starts with being humble. Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. (Matthew 13:31)” Frankly speaking, this is not easy. We might as well look around, on the street stalls, the Master, or the teacher. This is all “standard” for living in this world, right? The atmosphere in ministry is not good. We used to have someone with the title “minister” to be in the ministry. If someone is not qualified to pastor a church, he can do ministry in the workplace getting a title “Workplace pastor” or “workplace elder”. Whatever they do, having reputable titles is always good to them, right? Now that the title “pastor” has become popular, a “Doctor” title is added, which sounds even better? In fact, does it really matter what brand to display and what business card to print? Can’t you be humble like the Lord? Being low-key is also a protection for yourself. Why should you be envied by others?
Second, willing to be sowed. Not only is mustard seeds small, but also it must be planted. The Bible describes this action very interestingly, do you see it? It’s not a big person to invite you, not even a name. It’s nobody, it can be anyone, and it may also include people you don’t like or someone doesn’t like you. Picking up a mustard seed that is light in weight, unknown in name, and not of high value. It is you, and you are assigned to serve in an unseen position. Why do you ask me to manage the library again? There are few people reading books in the church, and most of them don’t read much. What do you mean? The exposure rate is not high! The loneliness of not being noticed by others is also the loneliness the Lord experienced back then. Would you like to experience it?
Lastly, rest one’s mind in the field. A humble person, who doesn’t even have a name, may be a random person, just so casually assigning you somewhere. It means, you are not seen as important, is it ok with you? You may be neither a man leading the trend nor a woman taking the lead, but a person unknown to the public, are you willing? Not only that, God also put you in a place where there is no chance to show off, are you willing? It is your destiny to simply serve in the gospel field for a lifetime. Are you still willing? From then on, the world has forgotten you, honor, status, money and all kinds of benefits are no longer seen, and this is an eternal path of no return, is your heart ready? Let’s take a look at the third point:
The effect of life
From planting to growing, what is the final result? What exactly is God teaching us here? First, little but active life. It is said that the mustard seed is the smallest in a hundred, it is reasonable to say it in this way. It must not be hard for us to find hundreds of seeds that are larger than mustard seeds, because mustard seeds are indeed small, but they must not be the smallest seeds. For example, the seeds of variegata may be the smallest seeds in the world. However, what the Bible means here is not about the knowledge of botany, but to emphasize that seeds are small but vigorous. This is Christ’s heart for us! Small means even if you’re small! To live means to never stop. Our gifted life can be small and humble, but it cannot live in a lifeless style. Sister Teresa is small and doesn’t talk much, but she is energetic, right?
Second, life is growing and getting bigger. As long as your life belongs to the Lord, you must grow, and you must grow up! Don’t compare with others, just compare with yourself. Ask yourself, am I better than last year? Have I formed any good habits in the past few months? Have I become more teachable recently? Do I feel about the Lord? Am I interested in the Bible? Am I obedient to the church? Am I moved by the church’s vision? Will I be able to preach on Sunday? Is discipleship difficult? Should I withdraw, or face the difficulty? When seeing others in need, do you avoid, pretend to be ignorant, or do your best to help? Or conversely, you might be very resistant with criticism since you are a child, but are you still the same as of today? My peers have all gone to work, am I still in kindergarten? Christ’s expectation of you is “be the largest of garden plants”, but your atrophy is getting smaller and smaller. What is the reason?
Finally, growing fully and being a blessing. Growing up is not to show prowess, but to bring blessings and benefits to others. It grows into a tree so that the birds in the sky can come and live on your branches! Have you seen the number of mustard greens in Israel? Google it, it is amazing. Not to mention that birds can stop on it, and people can climb on it without problems. I encourage our brothers in the Lord to be a spiritual husband, a man who stands upright in the world. Are you willing to be someone who can bear the weakness of others?
Today’s message “the mystery of a seed” is finished. Do you see the work of art in God’s hands is so beautiful, so good and full of power? From the sowing, growing, to harvesting, God set the foundation. He Himself is the source, humbly be the servant, little but active, growing and getting bigger, growing fully and being the blessing. Lord, I thank You! You reveal the mystery of a seed to us, and let us willingly be a kernel of wheat that falls to the ground. Lord, we are willing to die, but produce many seeds, and let more people be blessed!
31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 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.”
18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”