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 the kingdom in order to encourage us. I don't know about you, but sometimes I get discouraged. I just think that no matter how hard we try we always seem to be crushed and crowded out by the evil world around us. If you feel that way, can you imagine how the disciples felt? Let me make one last observation before I write about the significance of this parable for us today. What are these birds to represent? Some people think they represent demons and the reason they think they represent demons is because of the earlier parable where the birds snatch it away and it talks about the bird representing Satan who takes the Word away. But keep this in your mind, this is a new parable and the birds could represent anything. I think there are two things to notice regarding these birds. One, considering the birds live in this bush, the bush must be very large. Two, the birds live in the mustard bush so they can eat at home. In other words, the Kingdom of Christ grows so extensive that the nations find their shelter and protection in the kingdom. Now the birds are not the mustard bush and they are not necessarily part of the kingdom, but they benefit by its presence in the earth. This truth is important because wherever Christianity flourishes the people, the birds, which climb in the branches, prosper even though they don't know Christ. Wherever the Kingdom has extended, you have an environment of protection for the people who aren't even in that kingdom truly. Now this last thought takes us back to the way the disciple felt and the significance this parable would have had on them. The kingdom will grow so that many will find lodging in its branches. And what the parable is trying to tell us is that in spite of the opposition, in spite of the three bad soils, in spite of the presence of the weeds, we're going to win. The kingdom is going to grow and grow and grow and grow and grow. We're not this little group of people trying to hold the fort. We're the people on the winning side and the kingdom is growing.
- Are you presently feeling discouraged in your Christian walk?
- Will you allow the Holy Spirit to encourage your heart to remain faithful?
Prayer: Father, the obstacles of life often result in discouragement in my life. Grant me, please, Your presence so I may walk faithfully with You to victory. Amen.