Our Lord’s use of parables shows both a familiarity with things of nature and an ability to connect these things to the truths of the kingdom of God. Witness in our text the use of seed to explain some of the kingdom’s mysteries.
What seed-like qualities does the kingdom have? Our Lord suggests that seed can take care of itself. All it needs is someone to plant it. Things follow a certain pattern and the end result is harvest. However, the truths of the kingdom presented in this way work differently in many people. Witness the reaction of our Lord’s disciples: Mark’s account shows them as being in need of explanation of these new ideas. Why did they need things explained? Perhaps because familiar examples were suddenly placed in a new context. Grain was no longer simply grain and seed was no longer simply seed, especially as in the case of the mustard seed. All took on a new meaning.
How is it with us? Do we recognize the spirituality beyond the ordinary in our Lord’s words? Do we give up if their meaning is not immediately clear? Are we open to new insight? Do we seek help from the Holy Spirit if we have problems with understanding?
O God, your word is truth. Help us to look both on the surface and beneath the surface. Amen. — AEA