Matthew 13:31-33, “He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
One can hear most of those who see the above title for the first time exclaim, “What in the world is a sax-uh-frag-e saint? Well, first the word is pronounced sax-si -frij. It is comprised of two Latin words, saxum = rock + frangere, frag = to break, thus rock-breaker. There are some 480 known species that make up this genus of plants. These widely vary from flowering herbs, shrubs, to small trees. Members of the saxifrage family are known for their ability to grow and thrive on exposed rocky crags and in fissures of rocks. They get their name from the manner in which they put their soft rootlets down into the cracks of a rock and eventually break it into pieces. Their actions at first are hidden, imperceptible and seemingly impotent. But because they have one thing that the rock doesn’t have, they are able to impact the hardest of situations. What’s that one thing? LIFE!
Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington has a creative arts magazine entitled, “Saxifrage.” As an explanation of the title they write: “Our name comes from a flower, native to the area, which makes its home upon the rocks. As it grows its roots burrow downward, penetrating the rock and finally splitting it into pieces. Thin and graceful, the Saxifrage continues to inspire new generations of creative Thinkers.”
It is my firm persuasion that the saints of the Living God, i.e. all the born again of the Church, as rootlets, or extenders of the kingdom of God, needs to recover confidence in being a “saxifrage” people. This means we are designed to be a people who have the liberating life of the Unchanging King and the authority of His Unshakeable Kingdom resident within us and available to be released through us in such silent, secret, and successful ways that we see hearts of stone broken and lasting change occurring one person at a time until the whole earth is filled with the glory of our King!
In the parables of Matthew 13, Jesus is informing and assuring His disciples that as they went into the world with the gospel, success would be theirs in spite of those who would reject the message. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, He encourages His disciples by revealing that counterfeit Christians will attempt to ruin the Kingdom, but in spite of their efforts the harvest will be successful. In anticipation of the disciples’ fears that evil men would choke out the kingdom; in anticipation of their feeling overwhelmed at their smallness and the magnitude of the assignment that had been given, Jesus shares the parable of the mustard seed and the leaven in which He reveals the ultimate success of the Kingdom.
The parable of the mustard seed illustrates the extensive, outward, and ultimate success of His kingdom. The parable of the leaven illustrates the intensive, internal, and underlying strength of the kingdom that assures gospel success.
Jesus predicts that in the historical period preceding His return, something exceedingly small, like a mustard seed, will grow to be exceedingly large, like a mustard plant towering above the other herbs of the garden.
My fellow believers and co-partners with King Jesus in the Family Firm of Almighty and Sons, I want to remind you that when the sons and daughters of the kingdom, with the Word of God in their heart, by the Spirit of God, are planted in the midst of a people dead to God, and whose hearts are as hard as rocks, they at first seem to be so “harmless and helpless.” But the little rootlets of the seed or yeast of kingdom life begins to infiltrate, interpenetrate and influence everything they come into contact with, until finally masses of the rock-hard hearts are broken and they become “Saxifrage Saints” themselves!
As “Saxifrage Saints” we are to go into all the world and be planted by our King and there declare that those around us can come to experience “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning; that they can put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
In 1880 there were no churches in Korea. The country was considered by many to be beyond hope of kingdom entry. Now there are 6,000 churches in the city of Seoul alone. Six new churches are being started in South Korea every day.
In 1900 only 50,000 Protestants were counted in Latin America. In 1930 there were 2.5 million, but today it’s estimated that there are more than 50 million. In 1900 there were fewer than 10 million African Christians. Now there are more than 200 million.
When the missionaries were expelled from China in 1949