Summary: An encouraging exposition of Matthew 13 which explains the spiritual principle of the seemingly insignificant becoming significant with God.

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The Parable of the mustard seed

(20 minute message)

Intro: Story of student at school (Adam) who had autism.

From birth people would of written this guy off, they thought that he would never amount to much.

Adam loved computers.

Invented a computer program that was a huge benefit to people and companies.

Someone who was seemingly insignificant became significant.

In the kingdom of God there is the same principle.

God can use people and circumstances that seem hopeless and insignificant and bring about amazing results.

Today we are going to be encouraged from a passage in the gospel of Matthew that explains this exciting spiritual principle.

Read: Matthew 13:31a


When God is involved, something small can be transformed into something great.


A mustard seed was an expression of the time to signify something small or of little significance.

If you were to look at a mustard seed you would think that not much could

become of it.

It is not something that exudes expectation

This is a kingdom principle.

What does it mean?

In God’s kingdom, people, situations, and circumstances are not limited to how they appear in the natural.


We see God using Gideon and 300 men

Moses a man of stuttering speech

Jesus feeding 5000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves

I could go on and on

These circumstances and situations seemed small and destined for insignificance but they all had one common factor, god was involved.


We are living as members of Gods kingdom here on earth

The things we do and say and our circumstances, when done according to the will of God are subject to this principle. Applicable for us and the church in general.

Read: 13:31b


before a seed can grow it needs to be planted


The field was the mans area of influence. He decided what was to be planted there. The man didn’t just go out and wait for something to grow. He made sure that the seed was planted in the correct way.

Illustrate: my garden is my area of influence. I have control over what I plant. If I want something to grow that looks nice i have to chose to plant it. If I want my garden to bear fruit like strawberries, I need to plant and look after them. In due time I can pick the fruit and enjoy it.


just like my garden each of us have our own area of influence in our lives. Think of the people you deal with. Family, friends, church,workmates, these are our areas of influence. Each time we see them we have the opportunity to sow into their lives. We need to make sure we follow the farmers example of planting the seed in the correct way. How do we do this? By ensuring our actions, words and attitudes are biblically based. If we do this the potential is there to see Godly fruit in these peoples lives.

What will happen?

Read: 13:32a

Question: what causes the seed to grow?

Answer: Water, sunlight, but ultimately God

State: God is the one who causes the seed to grow


Farmer cant make it grow.

God causes the smallest, most insignificant seed to grow into something that is the biggest and greatest tree. There is no limit with God. This plant doesn’t stay a plant it becomes a tree.

Reminds me of 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.


Charles Spurgeon the famous theologian once said “Do what you do thoroughly, pray over it heartily, and leave the result to God.”

- He believes that God can take whatever we do as Christians, no matter how small and turn it into something great.

Charles Spurgeon converted in 1850 at a small service of 10.


We each have our parts to play. As Christians we become anxious over things that are not our responsibility. If noone responds to an evangelistic message we give we can get down and think “where did I fail?” or we might offer to pray for someone and if they don’t get healed we might be hesitant to pray for someone again.

That’s not how it works.

In the kingdom of God we have our part and God has his part.

God calls us to preach evangelistically so we do – we then leave the results up to Him, it’s the holy Spirits job to convict of sin.

God tells us to pray for people – if they don’t get healed it could be for a number of reasons, its not because you don’t have enough faith because how much faith does the Bible say you need? Mustard seed!

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Tom Ruane

commented on Jan 18, 2014

Hey Tim, thanks for your good work with this parable. You have a good grasp of this scripture.

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