Growing season for most things in gardens and flower beds is winding down. That means less weed pulling! This preacher remembers a weed in Georgia that we nicknamed “Monster Weed” because it grew very quickly, developed thorns and had a root system that made it nearly impossible to pull up by the stalk. Of how much sorer back would one be who attempted to pull up a mature tree by its roots?
Luke records the following lesson on faith that Jesus taught his disciples: “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6). Most scholars believe that what the Greeks called a “sycamine tree” is actually the black mulberry, very common in that part of the world. It seems significant that Luke is the only one in the New Testament to use this word because Luke was a physician (Colossians 4:14), and the mulberry had medicinal uses.
Now, what right-thinking man is going to try to pull up a tree by its roots using only his bare hands? This is difficult using modern heavy equipment. Yet the power which the apostles later possessed, even in their words, was equivalent to that kind of physical strength. That is why Mark tells us it was “…the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). What we possess in our copies of the “miracle-confirmed” word of God is a tribute to the faith of the apostles and prophets of the First Century. For us and those around us, it is “…the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” (Romans 1:16). What can our faith do with this sharp “two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12)?
J. Brooks Boyd
Livingston church of Christ