the mustard grain and the Universe

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INTRODUCTION

Sunday 19 Mt 13,24-43 is read. It is about the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith.

For most Christians the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith.  There is no logic in this. Jesus was a Jew and had contact with the Smaritans  regarded as dogs by the Jews. He for sure had contact with the Essenes to.he wanted to convert to lost Hebrews. He did not want to spread phobia but love.  I see a different Kingdom of God  were all humans are welcome, with faith or not.

I decided to make a second post about this reading with focus on the mustard grain seed.

No priest talked about this parable probably because they are looked into the Genesis story of Moses and don’t want to see what Science says about the Universe’s first moments of existence.

Nils Bohr said once

Bildresultat för if you are not astonished by quantum mechanics then you have not understood it.

I say:

“if you are not astonished by the words of Jesus,
then you have not understood Jesus.”.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mathew 13,24-43 says among others :

the grain of mustard grain parable
13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

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The message

I have all the parables indexed in this page.

The parable of the yeast and the grain of mustard.

 Luke 13:18 shares the same parable  with these words. To be able to compare these I put both parable versions beside each other in this table.

Matthew 13:31  Luke 13:18 Thomas
13:31 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
 “13:18 He said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches.” 3 [20]. The disciples say to Jesus: “Tell us what the Kingdom of heaven is like!” He says to them: “It is like a grain of mustard: it is smaller than all the <other> seeds, but when it falls on ploughed land it produces a big stalk and becomes a shelter for the birds of heaven.”

 

what msutard seed was it really?

“At times, Bible scholars concluded erroneously that is was seed of the black mustard (Brassica nigra)  Jesus talked about. The Brassica nigra seed grow up to a brush to seek shelter in as Thomas wrote but not a tree were birds lodge like Matthew and Luke said.

 

Closeup of yellow blossoming black mustard or Brassica nigra plants growing in the wild on a pile of earth at the edge of a farmer’s field in the Netherlands. It is in the middle of the summer period.

But this seed 
a  mustard tree that become so big that it can lodge birds  in its branches is the three of  Salvadora perisica. In scientific communities, the mustard tree is the Salvadora perisica, commonly called the toothbrush tree. they are in favor for the Salvadora because it is a larger plant than the black mustard and better able to accommodate birds resting in its branches. TheSalvadora perisica mustard tree grows throughout arid Africa and the Middle East.” ( godasagardener.com )

Thomas was more accurate.
Jesus may have talked about the brassica nigra seed but described the parable as Thomas reported it. Indeed can birds find shelter in a big brassica nigra plant.

Metaphore for faith?

The metaphor of the seed is mainly interpreted as the faith in God that can grow. As I wrote in my introduction:

For most Christians, the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith. The Christians want to be the chosen people. But there is no logic in this.

Jesus was a Jew and had contact with the Samaritans that were  regarded as dogs by the Jews. he had no Samarophobia like the Jews.
He for sure had contact with the Essenes too like John the Baptist. He wanted to convert to lost Hebrews. He did not want to spread phobia but love.  I see a different Kingdom of God were all humans are welcome, whatever faith they belong to. As fart as they behave as good caring humans.

the kingdom of God

But is the Kingdom of God only restricted to the world of faith? I doubt that. I think that everything that exists (visible and not) is part of the Kingdom of God.

The disciples did not have knowledge enough to understand the parable of the grain of mustard in other contexts than their own faith and life experience.

Nor does probably many priests understand it, listening to their obscure bla bla bla explanations. 

I see that  the mustard grain and tree metaphor rather as a beautiful metaphor for the birth of the Universe. Something very small becomes something huge. I do it after having followed Pauls advice in Romans 1:19-20

Study the creation to be remove your blindness.

paul wrote a  about woman, natural sex and other issue out of studio stereotypes of his time and biases.  But I admire a free thinking part in Romans where he motivates us to study the creation:

. Paul’s motivation to do this in Romans 1:19,20 is very important to consider:

“What may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to them. 
For since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,

even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”
(Romans
1:19,20).”. 

I find that Pauls words were followed by a few famous people Scietnist with open minds like Einstein who said: 

“I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself
in the orderly  harmony of what exists,

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein(Image source : www.brainyquote.com/quotes)

read more about  Einstein in my page dedicated to him.

To study the creation became my way to try to understand God. 

The mustard seeds

I write the page “Evolution of Physics” and “Earth and life primordial atoms” some time ago. As you can read on my first page, the building blocks of the Universe are very very small. They may not even be regarded as particles anymore.

David Tong, Professor of Theoretical Physics, call these The real building blocks of the Universe”

”Source:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVQfWC_evg minute 33)

These may in fact be just strings according to the string theory)

At Jesus time what smaller could be seen than mustard grains?

The Kingdom of God could be a metaphor for the Universe and its origin. A metaphor that is today illustrated with this image:

St. Augustine wrote: ‘If it happens that the authority of Sacred Scripture is set in opposition to clear and certain reasoning, this must mean that the person who interprets Scripture does not understand it correctly.” [St. Augustine, Epist. 143, 7, PL 33, 588]

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conclusion

I have found an alternative explanation for the grain of mustard and yeast that is in agreement with” clear and certain reasoning”.

But I have still not looked at the other parables about the Kingdom.  These may contradict the conclusion I came to today. 

Whatever, I find the parable of the yeast and mustard grain, to be just genius. Miracle stories are not needed to justify that this man is to be listened to.


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