Summary: The historical development of the church of God would be one of humble beginnings. However, this parable contains more than this important truth. Hidden within it is a warning about the perversion of the church's method of growth and of satanic attacks up
Opening illustration: A young teenager was walking to church in a blinding snowstorm. He was unable to get to his church, so he turned in to a little Methodist chapel. The storm was so severe that the preacher couldn’t make it in that night, so a layman stood up to throw something together for a tiny group gathered. He spoke on just one verse from Isaiah, “look unto me and be saved, all ends of the earth.” And from that one little mustard seed on a most unlikely occasion, faith was planted in the heart of that teen boy for the first time … his name was Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who later shook England for God, won thousands to Christ, and built a 5,000 seat auditorium in his 20s, and yet it was never big enough to accommodate the crowds! A whole lot can come from just a little mustard seed!
Let us turn to Matthew 13 and catch up to read what the Kingdom of Heaven resembles …
Introduction: Today we have mostly apostate churches ... made up of people who have turned away from the fundamentals of the faith. Constant diligence must be given to keep the church true to the Word of God and its teachings. Just as God’s Word predicts, people in these last days turn away their ears from the truth, and are turned to fables. Did you know that whatever you want to believe, there’s a group in town that will accommodate you?
The historical development of the church of God would be one of humble beginnings. However, this parable contains more than this important truth. Hidden within it is a warning about the perversion of the church's method of growth and of satanic attacks upon it. This parable is an analogy, and as with all analogies, the symbolism is not exact but similar. Therefore, the symbolism of the Kingdom of God being likened to a mustard seed is not identical, yet it explains a particular aspect of the process that the church goes through in preparing for God's Kingdom.
What is the process that the church undergoes in preparing for God's Kingdom?
1. Remarkably Small Beginnings (v. 31)
The mustard seed stands for the progress of the church from small beginnings. Because of its minuteness, the mustard seed came to symbolize small beginnings, denoting the smallest weight or measure, a tiny particle. The parable focuses on this idea of smallness. The mustard seed is something small that does its part to expand in preparation for the Kingdom of God. The seed represents an instrument by which spiritual growth can be advanced, just as a plant grows and reproduces itself through a seed.
In this parable, the small seed is the church, which appeared as the first-fruits of the Word. Just as in the Parable of the Sower, the one who sows the mustard seed is the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, and the field is the world. Jesus Himself had an insignificant entrance into the world by human standards, and the church He founded is likewise a "little flock" (Luke 12:31-32), small and designed by God not to become a physically powerful organization that would make a spectacle of itself.