Mustard Seed Parable
The parables Jesus told included the use of natural things to explain “supernatural” things. For example Jesus used mustard seeds. He used the black mustard seed as a visual in His Mustard Seed Parable. First used by fluent Romans the word “mustard” is from two Latin words. Mustum means “unfermented wine.” Ardens means “flaming hot.” The Greek word for mustard is sinapi. Loaded with nutrients they have medicinal nutrition and culinary uses.
The Mustard Seed Parable is a very short parable about a very small seed. It is used regularly in adult Sunday Sermons and kids sermons around the world. It can be found in three of the synoptic gospels. See Matthew 13:31-32 Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 13:19-19. It is also found in the non-canonical Gospel Thomas:20. Chronologically, The parable of the Mustard Seed is number 14 of the 46 parables of Jesus. Learn about one of the many interpretations of The Parable of the mustard seed as it relates to the global expansion of the gospel.
Jesus and the Mustard Seed
In the Mustard Seed Parable, Jesus used 3 elements to compare the church to the world. He used the mustard seed, the tree, and the birds. The mustard seed represents the church in its beginning stage. The tree symbolizes a mature church. The birds represented the evil in the world. Jesus used The Parable of the Mustard Seed for two reasons.
- In Jesus “State of the Church Address” He used The Mustard Seed Parable to encourage His disciples. This discreet prophetic declaration gave them something to look forward to. He reminded them “not to despise small beginnings.” The Parable of the Mustard Seed gave them an idea of how the church would look in the end times.
- The Mustard Seed Parable also contains the principle of sowing and reaping seed-time and harvest. Membership was seemingly at a standstill. Initially, it was only Jesus and Jesus Twelve Disciples. The seed was in the ground but growth was slow. Jesus told them a change was going to come. Harvest was certain. As sung by Christian gospel artist Jonathan Nelson “Better is Coming.”
Faith Like a Mustard Seed
Jesus referred to the “future global gospel explosion” in the Mustard Seed Parable. Because of Jesus Ministry, Jesus Miracles and some mustard seed faith, enrollment was up! Souls were coming into the kingdom. According to Luke, Christian disciples and missionaries rose from 12 to 70, from 120 to 3,000 and from 3,000 to 5,000 in (Acts 4:4). Things were happening so fast they lost count. Glory to God! Look at it now! There are over 2 billion Christians today!
Jesus also used the Mustard Seed Parable to warn his disciples. Jesus told them “The Birds” are coming! The church was being blessed. However, there are two sides to a blessing. it has a positive side and a persecution side. Jesus states in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Growth gets the attention of God and Satan. Satanic infiltration was certain. Attacks would come from the inside and the outside. Satan was going to throw his book at them. He would use every trick in his book to stop church progress. Demons, distraction, persecution, false prophets, and perversion would arrive. Pretenders will come for benefits. A John F. Kennedy paraphrase states, “Ask not what your church can do for you but ask what you can do for your church.”
I hope you were blessed by the Mustard Seed Parable. Share your comments, we would love to hear them and about your missionary stories. Visit our Christian Travel channel at KNCB.org where you can watch the Holy Land tour.
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