THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED

INTRODUCTION: 
KJV Matthew 13:31-32 
 31.  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 
32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 

SEE ALSO: Mark 4:30-32, and Luke 13:18-19 for the other accounts of this parable 

The Mustard seed is used to describe the Church.  

I. Understanding the Kingdom is the Church (v 31 the kingdom) 

At hand 
KJV Matthew 3:2 
 2.  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

Will come with power in the lifetime of those present 
KJV Mark 9:1 
 1.  And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. 

Will come with power/Holy Spirit with Jerusalem being the first to hear of Christ 
KJV Acts 1:8 
8.  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

The Holy Spirit brought them power 
KJV Acts 2:1-4 
1.  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 
 2.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 
 3.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 
4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 

Note: verse 5 they were at Jerusalem 
  

The Church was in effect then 
KJV Acts 2:47 
 47.  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. 

The Kingdom/Church is Christís 
KJV Colossians 1:13-18 
 13.  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 
 14.  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 
 15.  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 
 16.  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 
 17.  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 
18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 

II. Understanding the Mustard Seed 

Starts very small then becomes the largest 
KJV Mark 4:31-32 
31.  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 
 32.  But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 

The seed must be pure just as the word of God must be pure 
KJV 1 Peter 1:22-23 
22.  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 
23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 

Cannot mix seeds 
KJV Leviticus 19:19 
19.  Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee. 

The word of God is compared to a seed 
KJV Luke 8:11 
11. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 

III. The comparison between the Mustard Seed and the Church (Kingdom) 

Faith starts small then grows 
KJV Matthew 17:20 
19. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 

The Church did the same 
Non-existing / then 3,000 added 
KJV Acts 2:41 
41.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 

The number of believers grew 
KJV Acts 4:4 
4.  Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. 

More and more were obedient 
KJV Acts 6:7 
 7.  And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. 

Numbers increased daily 
KJV Acts 16:5 
5.  And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. 

How?  By CONTINUING in the truth and right ways! 
KJV Acts 2:42 
42.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 
  
  
 
IV. We must preach the word/ which includes the Kingdom 

The word of the Kingdom 
KJV Matthew 13:19 
19.  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 

Philp preached the Church 
KJV Acts 8:12 
12. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 

If we will simply teach Godís word, he will do the rest 
KJV 1 Corinthians 3:6 
5. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 

Conclusion: 

Strength and growth does not come from size and numbers, but content and soil.  The Heart and Soul of each and every one must bring forth the work of the Lord (Mark 16:15-16).  The growth will be in strength and the smallest can be the greatest!  While, we seek to plant we must remember few will grow and walk to find the path (Matthew 7:13-14).  Yet, we must find the few! 
 
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Brian Yeager may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others. www.christianlibrary.org


Top of Page