“Then He said,’To what shall we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.'”
For the first time, I think I have a clear picture of what this parable means. I had always taken it at face value, so I had a basic understanding, but now “I have eyes that see.”
Let’s begin with the first cross-reference: Micah 4:1,2, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” This very same prophetic word about the Messianic age was also given to Isaiah (Isaiah 2:2,3)
If you’re like me, you’re asking, “What does this have to do with a mustard seed?!” I know. I asked the same question.
And this is what the Lord showed me.
The mustard seed parable is illustrating the Kingdom of God from its inception to its manifestation at the Second Coming of Christ. This parable tells of the coming greatness of the Kingdom AFTER THE SEED HAS BEEN SOWN. Now think about it…Who is Jesus talking to? He is describing the Kingdom of God to His disciples, a small band of twelve – a tiny mustard seed – which ultimately turned the world upside down!
The Prophecies in Micah and Isaiah are describing what that “mustard seed” looks like once it has been planted and has grown to maturity – to completion. “In the latter days, the mountain of the Lord’s house…shall be exalted…and peoples shall flow to it.” People will be drawn to the Kingdom from many nations. “Many nations will come and say, “let us go to the mountain of the Lord and He will teach us His ways.”
Jesus was connecting the dots for His disciples. He was saying, “Look, the Kingdom appears small and insignificant right now. You are few in number, but when I go to be with my Father I will send you the Holy Spirit. He will give you the power to make disciples of all men. The mustard seed – the Kingdom – seems small now, but within lies the power to become the largest of trees – the grandest of Kingdoms – large enough for the birds of the air to seek refuge – great enough to bring salvation to all of mankind.
Once the seed is planted.
Acts 4:4, “However, many of those who heard the Word believed; and the number of the men came to be about 5,000.”
Acts 5:14, “And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.”
Acts 19:20, “So the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”
The seed was planted in twelve ordinary men.
And then it began to grow and shoot out strong branches.
The Kingdom of God. Amazing, isn’t it?
Father, Thank You for explaining this to us. There is so much to learn. I pray that You will continue to “open our eyes that we might see” the magnificent Truths scattered throughout Your Word. Thank You for stirring up a hunger that makes us want to dig deeper and fully grasp Your mysteries. We love you, Lord.