Less And More

November 20th, 2014

LessAndMorePhotoHe told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.

Matthew 13:31-32

Though it starts small, it grows large.  Though it is the greatest thing above all creation, it is fully contained within the single seed.

Consider the mustard seed.  It needs no addition, just to grow.  It is self contained, self replicating, and able to endure.  This is what the Kingdom is like.

Only One Thing is truly necessary.  Only one thing is needed.  If you began with only one thing, and planted it in good soil, it would produce the whole of the plant.  This one thing.

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:41-42, emphasis added

Mary saw what the others missed.  Mary kept the one thing the only thing, and it was hers.

But, Jesus spoke of several soils.  He said, some soil is only skin deep.  It never really penetrates.  This is the seed along the path.  Men love the path; God does not.

Some soil is open to receive, but it doesn’t want to fully receive.  Parts are never penetrated, unyielding like the rocks.  They may grow for a while, but time tells whether they remain true.

Some soil is all there, but they never fully give.  Like an unweeded garden, they never harvest a yield.  Never mind that its all called “growth”, in the end, its not grain.

But, it is the good soil, fully open, wholly given, that produces the fruit of abundant living.  It is only that which brings the wholeness of man.  It is only here that a man has life.

But, if that is its beginning, what will its fullness be?  If that is the seed, what is the tree?

And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

John 5:27

And, again, Paul wrote,

Dont you know that you will judge angels?

1 Corinthians 6:3a

In the garden, one tree stood apart. Did God create evil? Of course not. But, there existed the knowledge of good and evil.

But man was created in God’s image, and man was created to judge.

Yet this judgment is to be God’s judgment, pure, as He said,

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

John 5:30

This is the judgment, that men loved darkness, rather than the light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).

Man is called, elected, and appointed to judge, as perhaps no other creature is. Yet, it is in this area that he is so open to err. Man must not judge by his own merits, but only as he hears.

The difference is profound. Man, alive in the Spirit, can judge by and only of the Spirit. Man unaffected by their own judgment is free to judge according to the direction of another, because he is the Son of Man.

Man was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because it is not how God judges. Man, in order to judge, must be above this, separate from it, and living in God.

Man, born in God, becomes the son of God (John 1:12), and the mature son His capable servant.

But man yet bound by the knowledge of good and evil is bound to it, unable to judge, unable to discern. He is bound to the dictates of his own will, his own purpose, and seeks to please himself.

A man with the knowledge of good and evil is always listening to reason, to argument, and to ways, but never the truth. God looks at the heart, and determines this or that on the basis of His heart.

Forever longing, searching, and yet unable to grasp God, man, whose ways are unable to reach God, can never thus truly attain. God, who never violates good and evil, who created the standard, who founded His throne on righteousness and justice, whose foolishness is yet greater than our wisdom, judges not by the knowledge of good and evil, but by Truth, and Life.

God, although perfect, although placing the reproducing rule of good and evil in the midst of the garden, even placing it at the center, does not rule by it, but rather by Himself.

He, and in His perfect image, rules by another law, the Spirit and life, and yet calls us to the same.

When a man partakes of knowledge, though it appears to satisfy, to beautify, and to enlighten, loses the one thing most important.

He has partaken of something for which he was to rule, and becomes a part of that which he was to judge.

Being thus unable to divide that which he has now eaten, he is dead. His life has come from God, but this God has called him to separate. In the midst, man, then, though called, falls, fails, and crumbles, and any part of that divine calling to which he was named only slays himself. Thus the sword, and the flame, and the cherub to guard the way, that man might never enter Eden again.

But, this one place, this one flame, and this original passion is the call and aim of man.

God, who is just, has not forgotten man in his plight. God, who sees all, has determined a plan, and will perform.

To forgive, in the Gospel, man enters grace. To not, he enters justice, his own, and loses his rights.

It is the knowledge of good and evil that binds a man to it, and it is the tree of life that makes him live.

It is only when a man can no longer see good and evil that he can truly judge it, for then, he hears from God. God does not judge on knowledge, but by righteousness. When man sees, he is bound to it. But, when he is blind, he can do nothing but be lead by the hand.

Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant,and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one in covenant with me, blind like the servant of the Lord?

Isaiah 42:18-19

So long as we ourselves live by, expect, or demand our own justice, out of a knowledge of good and evil, we are unable administer judgment.

So long as we are a part of this world, we cannot stand above it.

It is, then, the greatest deception of all, in the Garden.

God, although good, does not enter us into that goodness, although he planted it all around. Man was created for judgment, with authority and power.

There is none good but God, they say, but they condemned Him for evil. And, this very true is why they died. For all who live by the sword will die by it too. There is none good but Him.

But, when man has only that single seed, and sitting at His feet, with hearts all open and nothing to give, He is that vessel prepared for every good work.

But, when he rids himself of all that is good, and all that is ill, and closes his eyes once again to that fruit, He can see. And, it is in that sight, He grows and becomes able to perceive.

Yet, for the sinner, they follow their heart, and we follow ours. They serve their father the devil, and we are above.

You could tell me, what is good? What is bad? I do not know, nor will I perceive. But it is good study, makes a great lesson, and is wise to understand. In the same way did they convince Eve.

Let them smite me, let them mock me, let them strip me and beat and leave me. Still will I rise, leave off the dust, and not be ashamed. For, I know the Holy One is with me, and I know His eyes perceive. I know He will not forsake me, and i know his hand does not leave.

My eyes are on the Eternal, and my heart beats only for thee.

This OneThing, once a seed, is now a tree.

Isaiah 50:6-9
6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.