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Seed growing secretly + Mustard Seed

MARK 4:26-34 26. Jesus said, "God's kingdom is the same-as a man throwing seeds on the ground. 27. The man sleeps during the night and wakes-up in the morning. While he sleeps the seed grows, but the man doesn't understand how. 2 . The ground makes the seed grow and blossom! "irst the green lea", then the small grain, and "inall# the "ull grown W$%&T. 2'. When the W$%&T is read#, the man starts to work to har(est the good W$%&T." )*. Jesus said, "What +an we sa# about God's kingdom, What +omparison stor# +an we tell, )-. God's kingdom is the same-as a tin# ./0T&12 seed. That is the smallest seed in our garden. )2. & man takes that seed and puts that in the ground, and it grows to be+ome a large bush. 3t grows large that birds +ome and make homes in the bran+hes." )). Jesus told man# +omparison stories to tea+h the people God's word. Jesus told them onl# the things the# +ould understand. )4. Jesus alwa#s spoke to the people with +omparison stories. 5ut when Jesus was alone with $30 2is+iples, Jesus e6plained e(er#thing to them.

The Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly (Mark 4:26 2!" The Farmer = ____________________________________________________________________ The Seed =______________________________________________________________________ The Field =______________________________________________________________________ The Plant =______________________________________________________________________ Harvest Time =___________________________________________________________________ Application to me ________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mark 4:#$ #2"

The Seed =______________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ The Mustard plant =_______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ The Garden =____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ The Birds =_____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ Application to me ________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

Teaching suggestion: Bring a small container of mustard seeds to show to the congregation

Suggested Old Testament Lesson

EZEKIEL 17:22-24 22. God sa#s, "3 will take the highest bran+h "rom the tall 7%2&1 tree! and 3 will +ut the newest TW3G "rom the end o" that bran+h! and 3 will put that on a high and large mountain. 2). 3 will put that on the highest mountain in 301&%8. &nd that TW3G will grow and grow and gi(e 91/3T. 3t will trul# be+ome a tall 7%2&1 tree. &mong that new tree's bran+hes will li(e man# di""erent birds. The birds will li(e around that tree. 24. &nd all trees in the "ield will know that 3, the 8ord, pushedo(er the high tree. 3 made the small tree be+ome high. 3 made the green tree be+ome dr#, and 3 made the dr# tree grow-e6pand. 3, the 8ord, spoke and did that."

Suggested Epistle Lesson

Ephesians 3:14-21 Paul wrote: When 3 think about all o" God's mer+ies, 3 kneel and pra# to God our 9ather,
-: -6 -4

.aker o" e(er#thing in hea(en and on earth.

3 pra# that $% will gi(e #ou "rom $30 glorious ri+hes. 3 pra# that gi(e #ou $30 $ol# 0pirit, that will make #ou strong deep in #our spirit. Then 7hrist will make $30 home in #our hearts when #ou trust in $3.. ;our 1<<T0 will grow deep in God=s lo(e and keep #ou strong. &nd 3 pra# that #ou will ha(e power "or understanding $30 lo(e, as all God=s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is $30 lo(e. 3 pra# that #ou will e6perien+e 7hrist's lo(e, that is too great and we +an't understand "ull#. Then God $3.0%89 will "ill #ou. >ow all glor# to God, $% is able, through $30 might# power working in us, $% +an su++eed mu+h more than we +an ask or think. Glor# to $3. in the +hur+h and in 7hrist Jesus through all generations "ore(er and e(er? &men.
22* -' -7

Seed growing secretly + Mustard Seed

.ore stories about seeds... We alread# had one stor# that "o+used on di""erent kinds o" ground -- meaning di""erent kinds o" people, di""erent kinds o" hearts that re+ei(e or re@e+t God's Word. (The Parable of the Sower) >ow here in one 5ible lesson we ha(e two more stories about seeds growing. The "irst stor# is about seed growing se+retl#. That stor# "o+uses on the power o" the Gospel in the hearts o" people who re+ei(ed it. The se+ond stor# is about the mustard seed. That "o+uses on what happens in a person when God's Word +hanges him and makes him grow. SEED GROWING SECRE L! "Ma#$ 4:26-2%& Jesus said, "God's kingdom is the same-as a man throwing seeds on the ground The man slee!s during the night and wakes-u! in the morning "hile he slee!s the seed grows, but the man doesn't understand how The ground makes the seed grow and blossom# first the green leaf, then the small grain, and finall$ the full grown "%&'T " Jesus didn't e6plain what this stor# means. 5ut we +an borrow some ideas "rom that pre(ious stor# about the di""erent soils. 3n that pre(ious stor#... he See' ( G)'*s W)#' &nd "or this stor#, the meaning is the same. The seed means God's Word in a person's heart.

Who is the "armer, &n# person who shares God's Word with other people. he +a#,e# ( -#ea.he#/ ea.he#/ E0an1e2is3 he +ie2' ( -e)p2e 4h) #e.ei0e G)'*s W)#' A7hristianB When we share the Gospel o" Jesus with other people -7hristians or non-7hristians -- we plant the seed. Then what happens, 9aith grows. he Whea3 -2an3 ( +ai3h We +an' see the "aith that God is working in that person, the same as a "armer +an't see the seed growing. We don't-know how "aith grows, the same as a "armer doesn't "ull# understand how seeds grow. &nd "aith grows slows, the same as plants grow slowl#. When a person trusts 7hrist "or the "irst time, +an we e6pe+t that immediatel# that person will ha(e strong "aith, strong +hara+ter, and right attitudes, >o? Ch#si+al maturit# is slow -- it takes time. 0piritual maturit# also is slow -- it takes time, reDuiring patien+e, learning, training.


When we spread the Word o" God, we ma#be will not see Dui+k su++ess. 0ometimes it will be a long time "or the seed to grow. We ma#be will not see an# su++ess. 5ut we +an trust God that $is seed will grow and the Word o" God will spread. 3n the <ld Testament, God saidE (ain and snow fall from the sk$ and water the ground, before the water goes ba)k u! The rain makes !lants to s!rout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the !eo!le to eat The words * s!eak are like that +$ words will not )ome ba)k to me em!t$ +$ words make the things ha!!en that * want to ha!!en, and +$ words su))eed in doing m$ !lans (*saiah ,,:-.--)

Jesus ends this stor#E "hen the "%&'T is read$, the man starts to work to har/est the good "%&'T That's a pi+ture o" what, When the 5ible talks about "har(est," we see two di""erent meaningsE 5a#0es3 i,e ( "1& -e)p2e 3#6s3 Ch#is3 7 8)in 3he Ch6#.h9 "2& :6'1,en3 Da;99
0(see +atthew 1:23-24, 5uke -.:6) 00(see +atthew -2:23-72)

Whi+h meaning here is the right one, Jesus didn't sa#. 0o we +an guess that 5<T$ are right. When a "armer plants seeds, and the# grow well,

+an the "armer brag about his su++ess, >o. $e must thank God, be+ause God blessed him and ga(e his seed su++ess. The same is true about "aith in a new 7hristian. When share God's Word like seeds on a "ield, God makes "aith in people. The prea+her +annot "eel proud o" "his su++ess." >o. We must thank God "or gi(ing $is Word su++ess. >ow, stor# F2. 5E M<S ARD SEED Rea' "Ma#$ 4:31-32& God's kingdom is the same-as a tin$ +8ST'(9 seed That is the smallest seed in our garden ' man takes that seed and !uts that in the ground, and it grows to be)ome a large bush *t grows large that birds )ome and make homes in the bran)hes The parable o" the .ustard 0eed emphasiGes that no-matter that planting seed AGod's WordB seems so small in the beginning, the results o" that seed growing are tremendous. $ere are some interesting "a+ts about the mustard seed and plantE

The mustard plant +an grow in man# pla+es, hot or +old, on dr# soil. 3t is disease-resistant and hard#. 9or man# "armers, the mustard plant is an anno#ing weed -pest -- be+ause it spreads and multiplies Dui+kl#. .a#be Jesus e6pe+ts us to be a HpestI and to be persistent in sowing the Word o" God to people?

What does this parable mean, Jarious interpretations are possibleE


=1> he See' he M6s3a#' p2an3

( G)'*s W)#' (as in !re/ious !arables) or +ai3h (see +atthew -3:6., 5uke -3::) ( a ne4 ?e2ie0e# who starts with a "bab#" "aith, but Duietl# o(er time matures and grows to ha(e an important ministr# whi+h tou+hes man# people ( he Ch6#.h ( O3he# Ch#is3ians 7 pe)p2e in need who re+ei(e +om"ort and prote+tion "rom the belie(er.

he Ga#'en he @i#'s

=2> 0imilar but appl# it to a 7hristian +ongregation rather than an indi(idual belie(er... he M6s3a#' ( )6# .h6#.h .)n1#e1a3i)n p2an3 he Ga#'en ( )6# .),,6ni3; <ur little +hur+h has a bigger in"luen+e in the world than we ma# know.
*n our )ase -- ;hrist 5utheran ;hur)h of the 9eaf re)ei/es feedba)k from readers of our monthl$ newsletter "The +ustard Seed" from all o/er the )ountr$, and we re)ei/e email from readers of our website from all o/er the world<

=3> 0imilar to F2, but appl# it to the whole 7hristian 7hur+h... he M6s3a#' ( he Ch#is3ian Ch6#.h, beginning p2an3 so small with -2 +lums# 2is+iples he Ga#'en he @i#'s ( he W)#2'
(see 9aniel 6:2,,77-7,# 3:63# (e/ --:-,)

( -e)p2e in nee' who "ind +om"ort and shelter in the +hur+h

The +hur+h began (er# small -- -2 2is+iples. 8ittle b# little, o(er man# #ears, the +hur+h grew to +o(er the world, gi(ing +om"ort and shelter to people in all nations. 5a0e ;)6 e0e# seen a ,6s3a#' see'A The mustard seed is one o" the smallest o" all seeds. $ere, let me gi(e #ou some....
=9istribute mustard seeds to the )ongregation >

The mustard seed is so small that #ou it is hard to see. 0ome people wear a ne+kla+e that has one o" these tin# mustard seeds inside o" a pie+e o" glass. The# wear this ne+kla+e as a s#mbol o" their "aith in God. 2o #ou know wh# the mustard seed is +onsidered a s#mbol o" "aith, <ne da#, Jesus was talking to his dis+iples when one o" them turned to him and said, "8ord, in+rease our "aith." Jesus answered and said, "3" #ou ha(e "aith as small as a mustard seed, #ou +an sa# to this mulberr# tree, '5e uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obe# #ou." Jesus was not sa#ing that #ou and 3 go around tr#ing to mo(e trees or mountains @ust to pro(e that we ha(e "aith. What Jesus was tr#ing to tea+h his dis+iples -- and what he wants #ou and me to learn -- is that it doesn't reDuire a great "aith to

produ+e great results. Wh#, 5e+ause the results don't depend on us, the# depend on God. This tells us that we do not ne+essaril# need to ha(e great knowledge o" the 5ible, nor do we need to ha(e great "aith to plant the seeds o" God=s Word in people. 0ometimes we worr# about what people will think about us, or we worr# about what to sa# when sharing our "aith. We onl# need "aith as small as a mustard seed to share. 7ontinue planting seed -- sharing Jesus. 0u++ess is $is responsibilit#. <ur responsibilit# to onl# to be "aith"ul. 2on't ask "or a great "aith so that we +an do great things -- ask "or "aith the siGe o" a mustard seed so that we +an see God do great things? &nd when su++ess happens, all thanks and praise belong to $im.