Luke 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
This parable is about church growth. The issues are not clear unless you look to the harvest. Mustard trees in those days were pruned back to stop vertical growth. The harvest of mustard seeds was performed by hand at a height where workers did not have to climb ladders.
What does that have to do with this parable? When a church gets really big, it attracts “fowls of the air”. The harvest is hindered and the fowls eat the seed. In modern terms large churches remove the pastor away from the flock. An organizational structure isolates the shepherd from the sheep. Size and structure require maintenance, insurance, utilities, cleaning, repair, subsystem upgrades, all the things that drain resources.
All these “things” hinder the harvest. The harvest is still done at the personal level, not above their heads. We see larger and larger portions of tithes being used to support things that have little to do with the harvest. Is that an effective stewardship of God’s resources? Doesn’t that isolate him even more so from the flock?
Matthew 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
That cannot be done from the lofty branches for the workers are on the ground.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
In the NIV “teach the nations” is replaced with “make disciples of all nations”. I came from a church background which did not make disciples of one another. The last church I attended focused on the gifts and ministry training. Clarity and understand of what discipleship meant wasn’t part of my experience.
When you think of a synonym for disciple what one word comes to mind? Believer, follower, student are common thoughts. I can say you are justified in giving that and perhaps other answers to the question. Let me give you one more thought, one more alternative to ponder.
Deuteronomy 4:4 But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
From these verses can you see why I might think adhesive? I am stuck on Jesus, but as a disciple if I am not sticky as adhesive is sticky, then I am nothing but a post-it note in a book.