Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jesus on Lilies

When Jesus wanted to teach the disciples about faith He spoke about lilies. One of the most potent parables concerning faith is found in Matt 6:28; “See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin." Jesus is offering us a preposterous idea. Something can grow without putting any labor or sweat into it. How can this be? Those lilies are created with a couple of amazing faculties. Its seed is planted in an environment of soil and air. It didn’t plant itself, but everything it will become is in that seed. How does it germinate and grow? Simply by receiving water and light! And Jesus likens that receiving with faith (v. 30). By a mystic process which still leaves scientists flabbergasted those lilies absorb everything they receive and become stunning beauties.
Imagine that you are a flower in the midst of a beautiful meadow. You cannot do anything except receive sunlight, water and air. As a flower you have not the power to change either yourself or your circumstances. That would have been like uprooting yourself and moving yourself to another part of the meadow and replanting yourself there. We know that flowers cannot do stuff like that, only the Gardener can.You cannot prune yourself either. After Jesus has introduced the disciples to this magnificent image of faith He tells His listeners: Are not you more worth than any of these flowers!
Where does the light emanate from? The sun! And the sun can do nothing but give light. By that same token God is the eternal giver of light. In the similitude of God the sun is a giver. We are the recipients of every good thing from above. Receiving is faith and is Jesus’startling message to a world which is caught up in labor by the sweat of their brow. Can the flowers create their own light? Nope! They do not even try. They merely rest in the hands of their Maker.

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