Mark 4: 31-32
It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.
As someone who spends a lot of time talking with those who are new to the faith, these two verses have been the topic of many conversations I’ve had over the years. Anyone who reads this should feel encouraged. Jesus tells us with the slightest amount of faith, we have the ability to grow into much more than we could have ever imagined.
However, I think there’s a word here that too often is looked over. In Mark 4:26, also a part of today’s Gospel reading, we see the word “scattered,” referring to seed that is simply tossed about the ground. Here, in verse 32, Jesus refers to the seed as being “sown.” This is different. This ground is worked. The seed is watered and nurtured. There is effort involved.
I think the same can be said about the kind of faith Jesus is talking about here in reference to the mustard seed that grows into large branches. Yes, with the slightest amount of faith, God can accomplish anything both in and through us.
But, if we are sowing the seed of faith; going to church, spending time in prayer, studying Scripture, serving both God and His people, and constantly going out of our way to experience Jesus in our daily lives, we provide ourselves with more opportunity for growth. I believe this is how we go about creating the type of shade Jesus is wanting us to experience.