The Light of Jesus will not be Hidden
As disciples of Jesus our job is to put God’s light on display throughout the world. Two parables within the Gospel of Mark pushes us to put the light of Jesus on display and to sow seeds, but ultimately the growth that occurs comes from God. Jesus starts to subvert the expectations of what the Kingdom of God is meant to be and the dangers of hiding the light of Jesus in two ways:
1. If you hide it you misuse it:
In Jesus’ day the only light available to them was fire. If anyone were to put a fire under a bed or basket the fire would spread and burn down anything it could along the way. Likewise, if we hide the light of Jesus from the world we will begin to use it in ways that it was never meant to be used.
2. If you hide it you will lose it:
Jesus gives a warning that those who misuse the light will have it taken away. We must be careful not to misuse the light that has been given to us through the scriptures and through the example of Jesus. Misuse of the light comes from trying to manipulate the gospel for our own gain. The light must be used for the purpose of building up the Kingdom for God’s glory.
“We come to Christ because he is the light of the world, but then he sends us out as light.”
God will see to it that His Kingdom Grows
All of the Old Testament is pointing to what Jesus is doing in his ministry. Jesus declares that God’s Kingdom is coming and it is near to us now. This means that everything God promised he would do for His people is being done. God promises in Isaiah that he would give his light to us and as we reflect the light of God in the world others will come to worship God because of the light that they see in us.
Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is here now, but it is not fully completed. The Kingdom is like a seed whose roots are growing strong underneath the soil. We only notice the seed’s growth once it breaches the topsoil. The kingdom’s roots are indeed growing and one day it will burst open in a glorious completion that God himself is creating. Even though we cannot see the growth occurring, the small acts of obedience that we produce contributes to the growth of the Kingdom that is certain to come.
“We know that God has done something, that He is doing something, and we know that He will do something. But for you, you need to be patient.”
The Kingdom of God Starts Small and Grows Large
When Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, he is not merely saying that the Kingdom is small, but he is referring to what happens to that seed. Seeds start growing small, but then bloom into something far grander than it started. Mustard seeds are the smallest seed, but grows to be a tree large enough to house birds. The Kingdom of God starts small then grows large which transforms it into something completely different. The nature of the Kingdom of God is vastly different than the kingdoms of Jesus’ day or the ones that we know in our current time. The Kingdom of God is not like a boulder that rolls through other nations in order to gain power through domination. But the Kingdom of God is like a seed that comes in quietly, slowly and unseen. God’s Kingdom comes organically, gradually, and gently transforms the deserts of creation into forests of new life. The kingdoms of humanity are about sheer power while God’s Kingdom is about transformation.
“Jesus says, “You know what my kingdom is like? My Kingdom is the God of the universe, the largest and most powerful being, who became like a small seed to come into the world in order to be buried so that something could grow.”