“Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit
To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
.” (Mark 4, 26-34)
A “man” scatters seed on the land in the parable from Mark’s Gospel we read today. In Mark’s previous parable, it’s a Sower who can be God as well as man. In this parable only a man can be so lacking in knowledge and attention he doesn’t know how the seed sprouts or grows.
Day and night, as we go about life, we don’t see or understand everything. We are creatures, not God.
The Kingdom of God is beyond human power to build and understand, the parable also says. “Of its own accord the land yields fruit.” God of his own accord brings the Kingdom about. “Your Kingdom come.”
We can’t understand or see the growth as something as small as a mustard seed. How can we understand how the Kingdom of God grows?
How hard to humbly acknowledge we don’t control or fully understand the world we live in. The two parables for today tell us to recognize our limited power and wisdom. We’re told, “You can do anything if you believe and put your mind to it.” Not true. We’re human beings.
Yet we have to bring what we can bring to see. As another of Jesus’ parables says, we have to bring our light to this dark world. It may be a small light, but we must put it on a lamp stand to see what we can see in the house of our world.
The parables of Jesus put us in our place as we go through life.