if you want to experience what he meant
saying- 20; mustard weed?
He says :
It [the kingdom] is like a mustard seed,
the smallest of all seeds.
But when it falls on tilled soil,
it produces a great plant
and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.
Here, exceptionally, the kingdom is not compared to a person, but to a thing.
Actually, the mustard seed in not a thing, but a living organism, a process.
Once the kingdom has entered one’s life, how minutely it started is not important,
it will certainly grow, at whatever pace.
Ultimately, one’s live cannot be anything else but its manifestation. Enlightenment is not
something you have, in either a smaller or larger degree, but something that you most
fundamentally are; it overpowers one’s existence completely. In that case, one may function
to the benefit of others, just as the full grown plant provides shelter to the birds of the sky.
According to Crossan (1992) and also Patterson (1993b) the mustard plant should be looked
upon here as a weed, attracting the birds which eat the farmer's crop. In this sense
the kingdom is something scornful in the eyes of outsiders, as a matter of fact concurrs with
the way Jesus' teachings were recieved by most people. Crossan's interpretation is
from a social perspective: the kingdom movement of paupers and beggars was despicable
in the eyes of the Jewish establishment. According to Patterson(1993b), the growth of the
mustard weed acts as a metaphor for the growth of the kingdom, which was a weed
in the eyes of the Roman oppressor. Scott (1990) concludes that by planting the seed in a
garden, the man has risked breaking the law of diverse kinds by mixing what should not
be mixed, creating the garden as an unclean space.
However, it is always interesting to see that scholars disagree: Quispel (2004) states
that the mustard variety meant here is the black mustard (brassica nigra), which is a
cultivated plant, not a tree, lasting for only one year, and which produces just one stalk.
Only Thomas is right in not mentioning that the birds will make nests in the plant,
because the breeding season is already over when the plant has fully matured (Quispel, 2004).
As we may appreciate Jesus' knowledge about such facts of nature, Thomas likely gives the
most authentic phrasing. However, considering Scott's (1990) explanation, whether the
mustard was cultivated or wild, the reference to uncleanness remains.
In any case, something may have been lost here, and the
original may have sounded : the kingdom is like someone sowing a mustard seed……….,
in which case Thomas’ usual parable opening is maintained, and the kingdom
compared to a person performing an action. (also: Breech,1983).
But if not, then, why would someone till his soil to plant a weed?
However, the story does not tell who planted the seed in whose tilled soil.
Suppose someone planted his weed in someone else's garden.....
in that case, the undesirable plant attracts even more undesirable things: birds, the animals
which his followers should look at as an example (Sermon on the Mount).
Those despicable, cursed animals, chased away by everyone, which however
have a resting place: the shade of the mustard plant.
Maybe Jesus expressed with this story how his teachings were received
by his contemporaries - with aversion;
and how they always will be.
Matthew 13.31; Mark 4.30; Luke 13.18.