Summary: Describes how a mustard seed and the Kingdom of God are alike.
Parable of the Mustard Seed
Mark 4:30-32 Living Bible (TLB)
30 Jesus asked, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story shall I use to illustrate it? 31-32. It is like a tiny mustard seed! Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, yet it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can build their nests and be sheltered.”
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? Look. See how tiny these seeds are? These are from the area where Jesus lived. They are the smallest seeds I have ever seen. A mustard seed is so small that if you were holding one in your hand and dropped it on the ground, you might not be able to find it. Even though the mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds, when it is planted in the ground, it grows into a plant so large that birds can sit on its branches and can even build their nests in its shade. I have read that these tiny seeds can produce a plant that grows ten feet high or more!
Now what did Jesus mean by that? How is that a picture of the kingdom of God? Well, when Jesus first began his earthly ministry, he had no followers. The Bible tells us that Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee when he saw two fishermen, Peter and his brother Andrew, casting their nets. "Come, follow me," Jesus said to them. They immediately followed Jesus. As they continued on their way, they saw two other brothers, James and John, mending their nets. Jesus called them and they immediately left their nets and followed him. One by one, Jesus called his disciples until there were twelve of them. That is still a pretty small beginning, isn't it? Jesus sent out the twelve and they brought others to Jesus and the kingdom of God grew. The Bible tells us that Jesus fed 5000. In the book of Acts there were 2000 saved then 3000 saved. From a very small beginning, the kingdom of God has grown and grown until it has spread over the entire earth.
To get a better understanding of what this story teaches, I am going to take this apple, cut it open, and take out the seeds. There are five seeds in my apple. Now, imagine that we planted these seeds and each grew into an apple tree. How many apples do you think each tree might grow/produce? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? I read that an apple tree can produce from 150 to 300 apples each year and that an apple tree will produce apples for about fifty years. 15,000 apples from one seed. Just think how many apples that is! It isn't hard to see how we have enough apples to feed the entire world.
Jesus started growing the kingdom of God with a handful of disciples. Every follower of Jesus is a part of the kingdom and that means that you and I are a part of God's kingdom. Each time we tell someone about Jesus, we are helping to grow the kingdom. Isn't it great to know that we can have a part in growing God's kingdom? I have asked everyone to invite 5 people to church. Think what would happen if everyone did.