One day, Jesus told a story to the people about a mustard seed and yeast in some bread dough. Jesus said, “God’s Kingdom is like a mustard seed that a man plants in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it is the largest of all garden plants. It becomes a tree big enough for the birds to come and make nests in its branches. God’s Kingdom is like yeast that a woman mixes into a big bowl of flour to make bread. The yeast makes all the dough rise.” (Matthew 13: 31-33) I don’t think Jesus was really trying to teach the people about gardening and baking do you?
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? It is tiny. In fact, the mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds, and yet, it grows into a large plant from which we can harvest our mustard for hamburgers and hotdogs. When you see the seed, it is hard to imagine anything very big sprouting from it at all. Have you ever made bread with someone? You first have to add some yeast, sugar, and water to the flour, so the dough will rise, and then the bread will be soft and delicious when it’s baked. Once again, a little yeast is all that is needed to spread throughout the dough and make the whole loaf rise. Jesus makes the point of using these as examples of just how much can be accomplished if we have even a small amount of real, honest, and Godly faith. Even just one of us – you or me – can be a great witness for God and help spread His message to many others through our own personal faith. It doesn’t take a crowd to bring people to Christ. It takes you and me being good examples and telling others what Jesus means to us by the way we live, work, play, and speak.
Jesus was not suggesting that we go around planting mustard seeds or baking loaves of bread as a way of bringing people to Christ. What Jesus wanted the crowd that day and us to realize is that it doesn’t take a lot of faith or a lot of people to produce great results. Do you know why it doesn’t take an enormous amount of faith or people to accomplish wonderful things? Because the results do not depend on us; they depend on God. If the results depended on us, then we would be bragging about our faith and what we could do with it. No, it all depends on God and His works on our behalf. He will guide us and help us have the faith and example we need when the times comes.
So remember this from the mustard seed and the yeast story: Don’t ask for a great faith just so you can brag or do great things yourself. Ask God to have real and honest faith in Him even if it’s just the size of a mustard seed or a little bit of yeast in bread dough. Then you can watch what beautiful things God can do through us even though we may not be big or important, but we have faith in Him, and remember, He loves us so much!
Let’s say a prayer. Dear Father, we ask for faith that is honest and pure in You. Help us to believe in Your mighty power forever and ever. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.