Then he said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’ Luke 13:18-19 NABRE
Jesus is teaching in the synagogue, having just performed a miracle He speaks about the Kingdom of God. In many ways where Jesus is present, so is the Kingdom of God. But Jesus wants to usher in a kingdom where all know God, they do God’s will and obey Gods commands, a Kingdom where all look to God with love, and love one another. Jesus compares it to something small that will grow into something great and overwhelming in size and space. He uses the mustard seed, a very small seed which turns into a fully grown tree in a garden. It reminds us of the Garden of Eden where God places the original man and woman, with a Tree of Life and a Tree of Knowledge at the center. The Garden of Eden was a paradise, where life was eternal and people could walk and talk with God. I am sure it is not accident that Jesus uses a similar image to describe the Kingdom of God. We see the image again in a prophecy of Ezekiel after the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem; God will take a tender shoot and replant it and it will become a majestic cedar for every kind of bird. (cf. Ezekiel 17:22-24) These tree images portray a strong and beautiful community, people coming together to share their beauty and be rooted together. It is a place where life flows from the roots to the end in each branch and all who see it will want to find a place in the tree.
As disciples we are called to usher in the Kingdom of God. We should live in love and share God’s love as Jesus did when he provided this image.
Do you think of the image of a tree as something powerful? Do you want a place in the tree?Jesus wants to usher in a kingdom where all know God, they do God's will and obey Gods commands, a Kingdom where all look to God with love, and love one another. Click To Tweet
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