Are you the branches of the Kingdom of Heaven?
Well, today we will be discussing the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the growth of the Kingdom of God. In my previous blog posts, I discussed Building a foundation on Jesus Christ, what was the foundation (the soil) of your heart, and the tares that are planted to destroy and uproot the wheat of the field; but today, I will be discussing the mustard seed and how; when sown into the ground becomes the tree of God’s Kingdom in Matthew 13:31-32.
“31. Another parable He put forth to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32. which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
We know in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares that the enemy plants tares (false Christians and friends) into the ground to uproot our faith in Christ, but this parable is a continuation of the earlier parables about building our foundation in Christ and His Word. Jesus tells us that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but He also tells us that it grows to become a tree. In Verse 31, we are told that the kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which the man sowed into his field.
In my opinion; I feel that the parable doesn’t just describe the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven, but of us as Christians and as people. In Isaiah 55:10-11, the prophet Isaiah tells of giving seed to the sower and how God’s Word will not return to until it has accomplished the task it was meant to do.
“10. … But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11. So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to be void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
This scripture if broken down says a lot about the Parable of the Mustard Seed and how it also points to us as the growing Kingdom of God. In Verse 10, it says, “But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater” but by watering the Earth, the small mustard seed starts to grow and mature until it produces the seed (The Bible) needed by the sower (Christ) which can then distributed to the eater (non-believer).
Also, the mustard seed doesn’t just describe an actual seed, but it describes the born-again Christian who is sown into the field of God’s Kingdom and is given water to grow and mature into the person Christ called them to be.
“The Mustard Seed is us Christians; who when we have matured and grown in the Word of God shall produce the seeds needed to go out into the world and give the bread (The Bible) to the unbeliever.”
I recently read a devotional by Lizzie Milani entitled, “Mustard Seed – Part 5” where she said, “… the seeds we have been given are the gifts that God has sown into us” and that to me is an interesting perspective when looking at this parable because as Christians; we all have gifts that God has given us to make an impact on others and help spread the message of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, the gifts that God gives us sometimes need time to mature just like we; as the seed of Christ must first grow up in the ways of God in order to preach God’s Word to others.
One of the quotes that Lizzie Milani said near the end of the devotional, I really liked because it really put into perspective what we; as people and Christians shouldn’t do when we are given the seed (The Bible) and are tasked with sowing it into the lives of non-believers.
Lizzie Milani said, “… this tiny seed… what will we do with it? Will we plant it in the ground? Or will fear cause us to hide our seed away; put it on a shelf, seal it in a jar. Safe, but completely dormant.”
Lizzie Milani continued with the Parable of the Mustard Seed in the second devotional entitled, “That Seed – Part 6” where she focuses on the mustard seed by saying, “We keep our talents and gifts and ideas and unique selves hidden, untried and untested, small and seed-like, away from the world, for fear of failure, ridicule, and separation.”
This quote in my opinion talks about how we as people and Christians want to hide our gifts from society because we are afraid of being rejected and ridiculed by our friends, family, or co-workers, but we should know that it doesn’t matter if we are rejected by the world because Jesus was rejected and hated before we were (see John 15:18.)
As Christians, we know that faith is an essential part of our walk with Christ, but we should realize that if we don’t step into the faith then the problem or situation that we are hoping God can remove from us will be invalid. Since we are humans, we oftentimes let the fear of rejection take over; but we shouldn’t let our fears dictate the direction in which God’s plan will unfold because it will only diminish the seed that God has given us or we will put our gifts and talents to the side and focus on maintaining our earthly relationships but without God.
Although the Parable of the Mustard Seed is told in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, I like how the Apostle Matthew uses the parable to help us understand that when we are planted in God’s field; we know that we are going to be growing but like the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares; Satan will try to shift and destroy your foundation in Christ.
Lizzie Milani’s 7th part to her parable series focuses on the branches of the mustard seed called, “Branches – Part 7” where this becomes the crux of my post. In the devotional, she continues with the Parable of the Mustard Seed but it’s what she says in the devotional that I like saying, “This parable isn’t about small faith or large faith; it’s not about having a worldwide impact or impressive branches of success. It’s simply about growth. The growth of a seed sown in faith that something wonderful that looks a little like destiny will come of it. It’s the journey of growth that starts within us and extends to others.”
Lizzie Milani’s devotionals have very inspiring quotes that I hope you take with you in your daily lives and when you continue your spiritual journey towards Christ. These quotes to me should help us get a better understanding of who Christ is and what the growth of the Kingdom of God will look like through us.
That Seed – Part 6
- “There are levels of uncertainty and elements of risk to planting seeds. We can’t see what happens underneath the surface. To a point, we have little control over how the seed is received, how much it will grow, and when it will grow. But faith tells us that it will.”
- “We have to give ourselves to the process, step through fear and into faith and plant our seeds, giving way to the mystery of life, growth and connection.”
- “Don’t hide that away in a jar, for the love of God friend, plant that seed, do the work, run your race, and watch that thing bloom.”
Branches – Part 7
- “The little birds that perch in our mustard “trees” (shrubs) are simply those that are touched by our lives. They are the people who find comfort, inspiration, purpose, hope, joy, belonging and relationship as a result of what you have sown into the soil of the world.”
- “You know that you are fulfilling your divine purpose when it outgrows serving you to serving and reaching out to others.”
- “The birds in this parable do not represent the productivity of your life, but rather the community of it… That’s where your faith should take you. Not to the top of a manufactured production line with a faith for the consumer market. But the authentic, human, and holy place of sharing and community.”
- “The branches and birds in Jesus parable are the times in our lives where divine exchange takes place.”
- “What starts out as a tiny seed within us, and is planted in the soil of our lives by faith, grows into branches that touch our friends, family, and the world over. If only we would have the courage to sow…”
In the end through, the Parable of the Mustard Seed isn’t just the parable of the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven, it’s also about the seed of God’s Kingdom and how we will continue to grow and become the seed Christ uses to spread the message of His love and sacrifice on the Cross to non-believers.
So, what will you do?
Will you put your seed on the sidelines and let the gifts God has given you wither?
Or, will you pick up your gift, be steadfast in your faith in God and the foundation you have in Him and become the seed and branches He uses to impact the world?
PDF File: The Parable of the Mustard Seed
- “Mustard Seed – Part 5” pktfuel.com, https://www.pktfuel.com/mustard-seed/ . Accessed 26 Sept 2017.
- “The Seed – Part 6” pktfuel.com, pktfuel.com, https://www.pktfuel.com/that-seed/ . Accessed 27 Sept 2017.
Author Unknown. “Bloom. Where You’re Planted”, ibelieve.com, http://www.ibelieve.com/inspirations/bloom-where-you-re-planted.html . Accessed 27 Sept 2017.
Author Unknown. “God’s plan will always prevail”, https://goodnewsshared.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/gods-plan-will-always-prevail/ . Accessed 28 Sept 2017.
Author Unknown. “Help me use my words to plants seeds of encouragement and not seeds of bitterness”, https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4f/b2/10/4fb210a093ce0caaadc98ff2ce86c9b6.jpg . Accessed 26 Sept 2017.
Author Unknown. “Matthew 13:31-32”, https://www.onlythebible.com/Backgrounds/Matthew-13.31-32.html?id=zeVB2taMZVROzpWMZAoeMg . Accessed 25 Sept 2017.
Milani, Lizzie. “One Tiny Seed”, https://www.pktfuel.com/mustard-seed/ , Accessed 26 Sept 2017.
The River Walk. “January 26 – From a Mustard Seed”, https://theriverwalk.org/2017/01/26/january-26-from-a-mustard-seed/ . Accessed 28 Sept 2017.