Pastor’s Corner: “Mustard and Jelly Faith”

Mark 4:30-32 (AMP) –“The kingdom of God . . . is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; yet after it is sown, it . . . becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.” 

But, Jesus, why mustard? In Bible times, the Jewish farmers whom Jesus was surely addressing when He talked about mustard would have highly valued this crop. They likely sowed it in their fields for its edible green leaves (kind of like chard) and it also propagated itself by the winds. Its flowers would have been key for pollenating and attracting bees. Interesting enough, mustard is a companion crop with grapes. In vineyards the mustard acts as a cover crop to protect the grounds in between the grape vines and aides in more fruitful crops for the grapes. This image would not have been lost on the disciples. There is a connection between abiding with Jesus (the vine), our fruitfulness and our faith (mustard seed). 

A mustard seed is very small, about like a fleck of ground pepper. A mountain, of course, is huge. What is Jesus saying here? That the least amount of faith is greater than greatest amount of difficulty. The tiny mustard seed holds the potential of a 30-foot bush! A seemingly inconsequential speck of faith can move mountains! 

The Bible puts a big emphasis on small things. Many small things have big consequences. When an atom is split, you have nuclear fission; the smallest of entities can cause the biggest of explosions. Small things have great importance. If you want to be fruitful, be faithful in small things. Small Things Fuel Our Fruitfulness. 

Think of the small things God has used….Moses and his rod. God used Moses and his rod to lead the children of Israel out of bondage into blessedness. Moses spent the first 40 years of his life learning to be somebody, the next 40 learning to be nobody, and the last 40 learning what God could do with somebody who had learned the first two lessons. Moses’ rod opened up the Red Sea. 

David and his sling. God used a boy with a sling to go against the giant Goliath. David was just a kid…Goliath, over nine feet tall. Everybody else thought, “Look how much bigger he is than us!” David thought, “Look how much smaller he is than God!” 

Elijah and the still, small voiceElijah was a little discouraged; God put him in a retreat center up in the mountains. First came a tornado, an earthquake, then a fire—yet God was not in any of these. Afterward came that “still small voice,” the Lord. 

A boy’s lunch. The Lord Jesus took five loaves and two fish and fed more than 5,000. The widow’s offering. Many rich people were present the day Jesus observed a widow and her offering. It was less than an American penny. But He said she gave more than all of them. Why? She gave all she had.  

If God used a rod, a slingshot, a penny and a lunch, God can use what you have. When He delivered mankind, God didn’t send an army. He sent His Son. Jesus was never a general, a governor, or a king. Jesus held little children in His hands. He talked about flowers, seeds, a lost coin, and a boy who’d run away from home. Jesus walked back pathways. He said, “I know the number of hairs on your head.” Jesus was interested in small things. 

Small Things Form Our Fruitfulness. Luke 16:10 (NLT) – 10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. We’ve all known folks too big for God to use; I’ve never known someone too small for God to use. If you’re big in your own sight, I doubt God can use you. Whatever you do, whether a widow’s penny or a cup of water, nothing is small if done in obedience and love. And if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, plant that faith! The least amount of faith is greater than the greatest amount of difficulty! 

In His Grace, 

Pastor Hamilton