Teacher (part 3)

John 12:23-26 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. 

Matthew 13:31-32  Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “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.” 

  • Reflect On: John 12:23-26 & Matthew 13:31-32. 
  • Praise God: For His ability to bring good out of evil.
  • Offer Thanks: For the ways Christ has called you to bear fruit. 
  • Confess: Any tendency to lose heart when life gets difficult. 
  • Ask God: To increase your spiritual vision. 

One of the most popular of Jesus’ parables is that of the mustard seed. With its thick-stemmed branches, the mustard plant is an enormous herb, growing to a height of ten to fifteen feet. A favorite nesting place for birds who eat the seeds, its seeds were ground into a paste or powder and used as a spice or medicine. So when Jesus compared the advance of His kingdom to the smallest of seeds that grows into the tallest of plants, He immediately created a vivid and encouraging image for His disciples. He and His followers were the small beginning that would grow into the greatest kingdom the world has ever known—a kingdom that would nurture, heal, and shelter all who would take refuge there. 

Jesus intended this comparison to impart vision to the disciples who needed it. At first it may have seemed easy to be His disciple—when the crowds wanted to proclaim Him king. But what about when the opposition grew stiff, when other rabbis denounced Him, when Pharisees linked Him to Beelzebub, the prince of demons? Wouldn’t His disciples, called to walk the downward path along with their rabbi, need the encouragement of this parable? 

The parable of the mustard seed must have bolstered the disciples’ faith, helping them see what was taking place in the spiritual realm despite the reverses they suffered in the natural realm. It is a parable that is still fresh thousands of years later, for to follow this Rabbi means that we too will walk the downward path. Like the first disciples, we need encouragement to remain faithful when we are tempted to despair. 

Perhaps your efforts to serve Jesus seem small or insignificant. You may have encountered opposition as you have tried to do His will. Or perhaps the opposition is indirect. You may be facing declining health, financial trouble, conflict at work, strife at home, a child or a parent who is ill. Whatever difficulties confront you, Jesus is calling you to plant your hope, not in the circumstances of this life, but in the soil of His faithfulness. Pray today that He will open your eyes to the way He is advancing His kingdom in and through you, blessing you with greater faithfulness than you can imagine.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *