New Testament : The Parable of the Mustard Seed? So, the picture painted in the Parable of the Mustard Seed by Jesus is of the humble beginnings of the church experiencing an explosive rate of growth. It grows large and becomes a source of food, rest, and shelter, for both believers and false professing individuals that seek to consume or take advantage of its benefits while residing or mixing among what was produced by the seed (1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:7; 2 Corinthians 11:13; Galatians 1:7). In other words, Jesus predicts that, while the church will grow extremely large from just a small start, it will not remain pure. While this is not a condemnation of the “bigness” of modern Christianity, it does show us the greatest burden that comes with it. The Parable of the Mustard Seed is both a prediction and a warning. May we listen to its message.
Matthew 13:31-32 tells the parable of the mustard seed: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” Using parables, Jesus related truth through intriguing stories with familiar settings. Our grasp of this parable hinges upon a correct understanding of its key elements: the sower, the mustard seed, the great tree which grew from it, and the birds which perched on its branches.
Jesus told us this story and he says that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. It’s one of the smallest seats, but when planted, it grows to become one of the biggest garden plants that even birds can come and perch and find shade and shelter. You know that’s pretty crazy is that all of us, when we were about one week old inside of our mother’s belly, we’re about the size of a mustard seed. After two months, we were the size of a blueberry. For months we were the size of an Apple, and at nine months, just before we were born, we were about the size of a watermelon.
You know, some of us have grown pretty big since then, but even the tallest and biggest person is still really small because we live in such a big world. Did you know that it would take about 350 days to walk around the world? That’s 30 million seconds, but guess what? Even our world is really small. Our world could fit into the sun about 1 million times, but you know the craziest thing is our God is even bigger than the sun. In fact, our God is bigger than anything you could imagine. Now, that’s a pretty big God, but you know, Jesus tells this story because he wants to tell us that when we get a little bit of God into our lives, that that changes everything.
Our God likes to use really small things and really small people to do really big things. We use David who is just a small boy to take on a giant named Goliath. He used a man named Gideon who was the smallest of his family to be the leader of an army. Jesus when he was on earth, even went to eat at the house of a very tiny man named [inaudible] who was so small that in order to see Jesus, he had to climb into a Sycamore tree. Now, that’s the really cool thing about God is that no matter how small we are and we all are very small, he still wants to use us. See more details on the The Parable of the Mustard Seed video on YouTube.
Yet the kingdom is not to be evaluated by its humble, nearly invisible origins. For just as a mustard seed grows into the largest of garden plants, the kingdom of God finally grows to such an extent that no one can miss it (v. 32). History bears out the truth of our Savior’s teaching. He started out with twelve ordinary men whom He appointed as Apostles and a handful of other followers. He lived and died in what was considered a backwater province of the Roman Empire, and He is mentioned only in passing in the secular historical sources of that time. But since the time of Christ’s ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension, the kingdom of God has been steadily growing. His church is found around the globe, and it grows even in the most hostile lands. The mustard seed is well on its way to becoming the mustard plant.