He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES."
Insights: The mustard seed describes how small the kingdom will start. Can you imagine how important this truth was to the disciple? Think about it, they were standing in a little group, being literally smothered by oppression, and rejection and blasphemy. It is as if they were saying, “Well, there are just a little handful of us against the whole world.” It’s as if Jesus were saying to them, “It's okay. Everything starts from something very, very small, but you have the potential to take this kingdom to the ends of the earth.” All of disciples put together wouldn't add up to a mustard seed. They were so small, so inadequate, so inconsequential, so unqualified, so fearful, so faithless, so weak, and yet, they were the kingdom Jesus planted. Sometimes our lives feel small like this as well. The mustard seed also describes how large the kingdom will grow. The prophets in the Old Testament saw a great kingdom whose extent was staggering. For example, in Psalm 72:8-11, it says, "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and the abundance of peace as long as the moon endures. He shall have dominion from sea to sea from the river to the ends of the earth that they dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him, and His enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the islands shall bring presents, the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. All kings shall fall down before Him, all nations shall serve Him." Isaiah saw the same end result, "Enlarge the place of thy tent, let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitation, spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes (54:2)." Jeremiah saw it. Amos saw it. Micah saw it. Zechariah saw it. We could read Scripture after Scripture stating the kingdom of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God, would stretch from sea to sea, from land to land, and cover the globe. Ultimately the millennial kingdom will come and Jesus will reign like these verses describe over the entire earth. God wants to take our lives and make something large out of it for His glory. Not large in the earthly sense, but in the kingdom sense.
- Does your life sometimes feel incredibly small?
- Are you amazed that the Lord wants to take your small beginnings and turn them into something miraculously large?
Prayer: Father, so often I pursue my own personal kingdom agendas and choose to remain small. Break through my sinful stubborn heart and transform me into something large that brings You glory. Amen.