Jesus often spoke in parables. His analogies attempted to infiltrate the layers of human ignorance that prevailed in the primitive mind. It would have been simple for Jesus to communicate the nature of God and the universe to an illiterate flock, but who would have understood the intangibility of His message?
The parable provided curiosity for the atheistic and confused soul, and an alternative to the gods of the ancient world. Indeed, each god represented a particular need in life i.e. love, wealth, happiness, war, fertility etc. Jesus, however, sought to enlighten the human spirit, and seed the soul.
Parables were intended to be thought provoking, for life was, and is, a multitude of thoughts. Jesus acted as a catalyst for those who came to realize that redemption and the true understanding of life and death came from a higher authority - not the Pharisees, Suddacees, or Sanhedrin.
The hidden message contained in the words of a parable is similar to the daily subliminal messages media inflicts upon humanity today. Our decisions, desires and ultimate destination in life is altered by an unseen, and sometimes, inexplicable and invisible message.
It is ironic that the parable dominates our lives today. The messages contained within politics, corporatism and religion all strive to obscure the truth. These subliminal messages are an attempt to subdue our minds, not heighten our spiritual essence.
There is also a parable in the eerie silence of our elderly. Their reticence radiates a lesson we all fail to see and understand. Society has squandered their wisdom, presuming it is as worthless as the mustard seed.
“How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.”
— Mark 4:30–32
The seed's struggle to flourish is not solely dependent on sunlight, water and soil. Even the smallest and least consequential of seeds wants to experience birth so that it can come to understand the miracle of life. The seed's incarnation will ultimately alter the entire universe. The seed's struggle to overcome the weeds, will give way to a new forest and the expansion of Mother Nature. The contribution of the mustard seed is divine in its inspiration.
Buddhists believe in a cycle of death and rebirth, called samsara. Through karma and eventual enlightenment, they hope to escape samsara and achieve nirvana, an end to suffering.
Do not let the destructive parables of today project you into the downward path of the parabola.