“THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”
Matthew 13:31, 32
I. Is Like To A Grain Of Mustard Seed
A) A grain of mustard seed
- Note verse 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.
- I want to first notice and explain this “grain of mustard seed.”
- When the Bible mentions “a grain” it means the ground or powdered parts of the seed. It is not talking about the seed itself, but merely the “grain,” a powdered, or ground up piece of the seed.
- Barnes Notes on the New Testament said this…In the heart it is at first feeble, easily injured, and much exposed. In the church there were few at first, ignorant, unknown, and unhonored; yet soon it was to spread through the world.
- Now seeing this explanation may clear up what we already know about God. God always uses someone feeble(weak), He uses people who are easily injured (easily convicted), and He uses those who are much exposed (vulnerable to the world).
- Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament goes on to say… The Hebrew writers speak of the mustard-tree as one on which they could “climb,” as on a fig-tree. Its size was much owing to the climate. All plants of that nature grow much larger in a warm climate, like that of Palestine, than in colder regions. The seeds of this tree were remarkably small, so that they, with the great size of the plant, were an apt illustration of the progress of the church and of the nature of faith, (Example: Matthew 17:20).
- Again… What is the Kingdom of Heaven? The saved, the born again Christian, the wheat.
- So when Christ Jesus says that “..The Kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed..” He means that we are “very small.” This in itself has several meanings…
- Small in size – there is a small amount of people who are Christians, compared to the large amount of people who are worldly.
- Small as in small faith – Jesus used this term again after His disciples could not cast out the demons in a young man’s body in Matthew 17:20… 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. You see, it’s not that they had little faith (the size of a mustard seed), they had NO FAITH.
- Small as in popular – Small also means not very popular with the world. These are the people that God uses in His Kingdom… When a Christian is not popular with the world and it’s ideas, it comes as a result of being separated from the world as Paul teaches in II Corinthians 6:17… “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
- A mustard seed is small in size, and small I its ability to survive hard weather, and it is also not very popular in its taste. Few people like mustard.
B) Which A Man Took
- When we look at part “b” of verse 31 in Matthew 13, we notice that “a man took” the seed.
- Who is the “Man?” We learned last week that Jesus said down in verses 37, 38 that the man is “The Son Of God.” The Son of God is Jesus Christ. All the seeds that the Son of God has planted in the world are His children.
- We also learned that “the field,” is the world.
- But when we see that “the man took” it means he possesses it, he owns it. When you “own” something, you take care of it, nurture it, fix it when it is broke over and over again if necessary, you cry when it doesn’t work like it is supposed to.
- You see the likeness here in “the grain of the mustard seed” and us as Christians?
- Christ owns us, takes care of us, nurtures (tends to our needs) us, forgives our sins over and over again, and He weeps when we are not the children He wants us to be.
C) And Sowed In His Field
- Now we come to part “c” of verse 31 in Matthew 13, where Jesus said… The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
- You first notice the word “sowed.” This means… to plant or scatter seed in.
- You have to purchase seeds with your money before you can plant it. Christ had to purchase the seeds (US) with His blood before He could plant us into “His field” the world.
- Now wait a minute… the world doesn’t belong to Christ. They want no part of Him. The world rejected Christ right? Now wait a minute, look first at John 12:47b… for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
- It is not Christ that judges this world, but God His Father. It is of no profit for you to save something that doesn’t belong to you in the first place. It is vain.
- Secondly, you look at II Corinthians 5:19…To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling(to bring into harmony, allow worship, and fellowship to Him) the world unto himself,
- Before Christ, we were unable to stand before the throne of Grace with our prayers, and supplications.
- When you plant seed in a field it gives you a sense of satisfaction, and anticipation for the day when it is yielded.
- A farmer (man that plants) plants his crops, waters it, fertilizes it, and then takes it to the grain elevator to see how much money his seed will bring.
- Christ is like that farmer…He plants us in the world, waters us with the Holy Spirit, feeds us with the word of God, watches us grow, and it comes time for Him to gather his saints (rapture) He will weep with Joy.
- Christ invested in a field and it cost Him everything He had. He bought it with His blood. In Romans 8:14 it says…For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of
- Any person that is led by the Spirit of God, that means anyone who follows the convictions caused by the spirit in his heart, they are a son of God.
- I think it is quite notable that he says all through scripture that we will become “sons” of God not daughters of God or mothers of God. There is no female connotation whatsoever with the future beings of heaven.
- John 1:12 says…But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- Here John said that to anyone who “received Him” or “believed on His name” they (we) can become the “sons of God.”
- When a peach seed is planted, you will get a tree that produces peaches. When Christ plants a seed in man it will produce “Christians (Christ-like people)”
D) Which indeed is the least of all seeds
- Now let us look at Matthew 13, and verse 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.
- What we need to realize again is that the Jews thought that the “Kingdom of heaven” was for the Jews only. No Samaritan, or Gentile of any kind could enter. This is why Jesus preached this message… to let the Jews know that the “Kingdom of heaven” was for all kinds of people (birds). Let me explain this….
- “Which indeed is the least of all seeds:” The mustard seed not very big, not very popular, not very important. This also means the Jewish nation (Israel). Israel has never been very big, never been popular with the world. But it has always been God’s “Pearl of great price,” His “Peculiar people.”
- “…but when it is grown,” When it becomes bigger. When a tree becomes bigger, it can allow more birds to come nest in it. In other words, when the “Kingdom of God (Jews) becomes bigger (grown) it can have the Gentiles allowed into the “Kingdom of God” as well.
- “…it is the greatest among herbs,” God will then consider this the greatest thing in all creation. He is not limited to the love of the Jews, but the love of the Gentiles as well. God was not satisfied with the service and love of the angels, the cherubims, and seraphims, and Jews. He wanted another race another love. Especially after His own rejected His son.
- Know this… The Jewish nation is STILL God’s chosen people, still “the greatest among herbs(men).”
- “.. and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. When a little sapling becomes a tree, it is able to withstand any test put to it. It can hold more birds it’s branches.
- This is what Christ is trying to teach the Jews. There is more room for the gentiles to become of the circumcision, become part of the family, become Christ-like, become sons of God.
- The Kingdom of God now is a tree with bigger branches… Praise the Lord!
- Thank God for allowing “the man (Son of God)” to plant “the grain of a mustard seed (Israel)” into “the field (the world)” so that it can grow to allow us Gentile birds to sit in its branches(Faith, Kingdom Of Heaven).