3. The Mustard Seed
How the Gospel of God’s
Kingdom Works In Us
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
(Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-19)
Watch the 3 minute animated video here.
The text of the message, with scriptures, follows the video.
This parable shows how the gospel of God can begin as a small seed in us, but grow into a big tree. This is because it is the gospel of God. So the gospel is not just something we put to work in our lives. Instead, it is the process of God working in us and through us. It produces good things in us (Col 1:5-6).
Thus, this parable says is the gospel grows in us 30, 60, and 100 times bigger.
This is how the gospel produces good things from us, as Paul says. He says it fulfills the word of God in us. This is the nature of a mustard seed in God’s economy. It grows from a tiny seed to a big tree.
Recall things grow after their own kind, as we saw in the first parable we did, “The Parable of the Sower.” God is pretty smart. He knows if he plants apple seeds in us, he will not grow pumpkins. So he plants all of his good Kingdom blessings into us, knowing this is what will grow from us.
And, when you let the gospel be planted into you, it grows automatically and spontaneously. We will see this in a parable coming up. It grows automatically in us because it is the process of God in us. What God plants in us must grow because it’s powered by God.
We can plant other things into us if we want to, but they are not powered by God. They are only powered by us. Paul refers to this as the flesh.
What is interesting here is that the gospel becomes all consuming.
It begins as a seed, but it becomes a big tree.
This also speaks of us as children of God who are filled
and consumed with nothing but gospel truth.
Jesus says he is the truth, so when we live in him,
and in his truth, life goes so very much better.
Jesus prays, “Thy Kingdom come… thy will be done… on earth as it is in heaven.” This is what the gospel does in us as we grow from a seed into a big tree.
What we do when we receive gospel truth into us is we honor God. He says he REQUIRES us to receive it because he knows it is so very good for us and will bless us out of our socks. John 5:44 says that when we accept honor from others, it can even effect our ability to believe. Well, the converse of this can be true as well: when we believe God, we receive honor from God. This is why John says we must not only believe IN Jesus, but we must also believe Jesus (John 3:36).
If we don’t receive the gospel, we get off on what we lawyers call ‘a lark of our own,’ and we can wander off in any direction. This is what a later parable will show us: “The Lost Sheep.”
God knows that as it grows in us, we just ‘pay it forward,’ as the modern expression says. This is what God wants to happen. He gives everything he has to us, but in doing so, he wants us to spill over onto other people. Jesus says, “As you have freely received, so freely give.” This is preaching the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
So what we do is we plant gospel seed in others that God has planted in us, and this then helps them to also grow into big gospel trees. This is how the mustard seed works. “Give and it shall be given unto you.” – “To him who has, will more be given.”
Remember: my purpose is not to totally discuss each parable.
It is to only show the gospel in each parable, and how it practically impacts us.