Our Gospel this week is Mark 4:26-34, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
“The kingdom of God is like this,” he said. “A man scatters seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how. The soil produces a crop by itself — first the blade, then the head, and then the full grain on the head. As soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.” And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown upon the soil, is the smallest of all the seeds on the ground. And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the garden plants, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.” He was speaking the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, he explained everything to his own disciples.
Jesus used parables to engage people in the lessons He had for them. It was a means to capture their attention and make them aware of God’s love and how His kingdom works. His parables caused people to think and ask questions, which enabled them to learn more and share the joy of a relationship with Jesus.
This passage tells us that He explained the meaning of the parables in private. This wasn’t “secret” information to be kept from others, Jesus wanted to ensure the disciples knew what they would need to continue His work after He returned to heaven. It was an effective teaching method that shared the Good News and encouraged people to want to know more.
We can share God’s love in similar ways, telling how He has acted in our lives. We don’t need heavy theological themes, just an honest account of our connection with Him. The old spiritual says “if you can’t preach like Peter, if you can’t pray like Paul, just tell the love of Jesus and say He died for all.” What matters most is our earnest desire to help others find their connection with the Lord.
Gracious God, we are thankful for the call to be part of Your work. Send us to share Your love in the world, that all may know the truth of Christ. Amen.