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The Parable of The Mustard Seed

(Matthew 13-31-32)

Matthew 13:31-32.

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.’”

I almost forgot that there is such a parable in the Bible. Most of what I know about it is the mustard seed faith, or what others call “the faith of a mustard seed.” But Jesus is saying the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. Then the mustard seed became a great tree.

I remember another parable involving someone who did something in the field. Remember, there was the one about a man who found treasure in the field? And he sold all he had and bought the field, because what was in the field was so precious. Remember that one? Well, that was an image of Jesus Christ; and that is what made it so precious, that the man sold all he had in order to purchase the field.

Following the parable of “the Hidden Treasure” in the Bible, we are told about the pearl diver, who sold all his precious pearls to purchase one far more precious. That pearl of great price was also an image of how precious Jesus is.

Do you know that we are the seed that was sown in the field and became a great mustard tree? Do you know that the Bible also says that we are to be considered a peculiar people? Do you know that we are thought of as priests? Do you know that we are called as adopted sons of God?

I want to share with you a story; something that my mother shared with me, that I thought was especially precious.

Apparently, during the Roman days, when Jesus was on earth, someone who had a son could sell his son to be a slave and when the father had more money, he could redeem his son by paying to get him back out of slavery. Then, when hard times came again, he could sell his son another time. When prosperity came yet again, he could buy his son back over. Under the Jewish and Roman laws, or whatever law it was, a man could sell his own son three times and redeem him three times.

This father is typical of the seasons in life. We all have seasons in life, seasons when we have a lot of money and times when we have very little money, especially if you are in business.

My brother is in business and things can change so fast for him. One year he was hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit; and it seems the next year he was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. So it is understandable that in times past, a father might use his son’s freedom as collateral.

Life moves in seasons. So, I can understand a father selling his son three times into slavery. The son would know he was helping his father so, even when it was difficult, he would still be okay being a slave.

In those days, a wealthy man was able to go out and find a homeless guy or someone he liked that did not have any income and he was able to adopt that person and make him his own son. However, the difference between that son and his natural son was that under the laws of the Roman rule, you were never allowed to sell an adopted child as a slave. You were only allowed to sell your own son but not an adopted son or daughter as a slave.

This is the special place we find ourselves in the Kingdom of God. When the Scriptures record that we are adopted sons, we are joint heirs with Jesus, it means we are of this second class of sons—the type that can never be lost or sold back into slavery.

Jesus was given up by the Father for our sins. Jesus was sold for us and for the sins of the world. Jesus was the Father’s own natural son and as a natural son He was allowed to suffer to achieve something for His Father. However as adopted sons of the Father through Jesus Christ, we seem to have more privileges than Jesus.

Do you know how important we are? Do you know how important you are to Jesus? You might be surprised about this: but whether you are a Christian or not, He died for you. If you were not more important than Jesus was, He would not have laid down His life for you. We are precious. Jesus was sent into bondage on this earth by His Father and died a vicious death to redeem us, to bring us back to fellowship with God and now God has adopted us.

Just as we recognize that we are sons of God and priests and co-heirs with Jesus Christ and adopted sons into the Father’s Kingdom, let us consider that the man who sowed the seed into the field is in fact God the Father and the seed was us. Let us just say that the field that we were sown into: is this present world.

We have been sown into the world and if you were anything like me; or have been reading this book from the beginning: you will know a lot about my shady past. Along with my addiction, you will discover that I was sexually molested and abused. I felt lonely and sad, rejected and broken and addicted to so many sinful behaviors for many years. I was so overcome by hard things for so much of my life.

If anyone felt unworthy to be a preacher, if anyone felt unworthy to talk about righteousness and holiness and living perfectly in the Kingdom—it was me. I felt undeserving to be called to speak about living in and enjoying the peace and the full love of the Father. If anyone was unqualified to stand in the pulpit in a suit it was me, and yet that is what is so good about the Kingdom of God, because I am supremely qualified. I am a trophy of Christ. I have Christ living in me and that qualifies me.

I am no one at the moment but I have big dreams and there have been big prophecies spoken of my life. I have even been to Heaven in a vision and was given the coat of Joseph by Jesus. I was given Joseph’s coat of many colors and it is on me now. The personal knowledge that I have that coat of favor on my life, and that God allowed his Son to give it to me in Heaven, brings me a lot of comfort. In the midst of tears, in the grips of fearful times, when sleep does not come at night due to mental illness, the knowledge of me possessing that coat brings deep comfort. I believe with all of my heart that with this coat on, though I am nothing now, one day through God’s grace and favor I will become a household name like Joseph became for all of us.

Okay, now let us get back to the seed. As the seed, we are sown into the field, the world. Therefore, we all have the potential to become a great tree—a great, big mustard tree! But for us to become big like a mustard tree, we also get to be mustard. This says to me, a simple person, that we not only have the potential to become great but our stature is useful for something too.

Jesus is saying here that the mustard seed can become something so great. The least of the seeds, the tiniest of all seeds, becomes such a mighty tree! I feel through this parable that Jesus is saying the tinier that you are, the larger you are going to become. The more insignificant you feel you are the more you can be used. He is saying that if you can receive it, though you might feel you are the littlest seed of all the herbs, you do not just become a little flower bush in the garden that most herbs are—you become a mighty tree.

Jesus is saying that if you will allow Him to grab you, to mold you and to fashion you, He can mold you into something huge.

You see, if it were not possible for all of us to grow into a great tree, this short parable would not have been told by Jesus. I believe with all of my heart that over ninety percent of Christians do not achieve the potential on earth that God has willed for them.

Some people have this mistaken view of the sovereignty of God. Many Christians believe that it does not matter what they do in life. They believe that whatever they do, they get the same results in life. They have a false assumption of God’s divine control of their life. Many Christians would be shocked to know that there are ninety percent of them not reaching the potential God has set for them.

Most people I know have no idea of their ultimate life’s purpose. Many Christians I know have no idea what they are here on earth for and what God wants them to devote their life to. They have no vision for great things, no purpose. They are simply going to church, going to work, paying the bills and hoping—just hoping—that one day, someone, somewhere, will show them what they are called to do on earth.

If I share with most people that God wants to grow them into a huge tree as illustrated in this parable, they will recoil and say that some people are called to be great people and famous and yet that is not them. On the one hand they cannot tell you their life’s purpose and their reason for being born on planet earth, and on the other hand, they can strenuously assure you that they were not destined to do great things.

Jesus would not have said that the mustard seed was so little but it outgrew all the other herbs of the field, if the very people He died for couldn’t also grow and become the best of their species. One thing is certain, dear reader: God can never take you further than you believe you can go. God cannot make you into a great tree that gives life (the mustard) and a place for people to find rest, if you are not willing to receive what He is trying to say to you today.

So much hinges on knowing why we are here on earth. So much hinges on what we know of God and the truth that we know about how the Kingdom of God really operates. There is so much riding on these two things; the knowledge of who you are in Christ Jesus, and how the Kingdom really works. If you do not learn these two things, you will never become who you were destined to be.

There are a lot of little people in the world—and do not get me wrong here. Jesus was not saying that little people do not count. Herbs are herbs and they all have a good purpose for life on earth, but as an adopted child of the Kingdom God has now redeemed you and given you new DNA and you now can, as a little seed, become a great tree that can not only be of great good for what you were intended to be, but also a blessing to many others (i.e. the birds of the air).

“But I do not want to become someone of great importance,” you say. “I do not need to become big. I am happy with my life as it is. I do not need to be anyone that I am not. I just want to be myself.”

That is the whole point of what this parable is about! If you could just get a hold of this in your spirit, you will know that God does not want you to become something that you were not created to be. He wants you to become better at being you. He wants you to grow to a point that when you look back at your life before (where you came from), that you are able to exclaim, “Praise God!”

I had been sitting on the desire to write a book about Jesus’ parables for ten years. It has been one of my secret dreams. On September 19th, 2010, the Lord said, “It is time now. I want you to write a book. I want you to do a video on each of the fifty four parables that you found on Google. Do a video on each parable. Have them transcribed to make fifty four Ezine articles and then I want you to collect the 54 articles, get them proof-read and perfected by a couple of editors and then I want you to produce it as a book. I want you to call it ‘The Parables of Jesus Made Simple.’”

That is what Jesus said to me and now I have done it. Now, you are reading the book derived from the transcription of that series of 54 videos. The book was made to be as cheap as it could be. I have transcribed the videos and made them into articles for the Ezine Articles website. Collect all of them, have them proof-read and edited and produce a book called “The Parables of Jesus Made Simple.” I keep on telling people that I love, “I cannot believe my dream is coming true. I have wanted to write this book for ten years and now God has given me the green light and I am actually doing it and I’m doing a good job.”

I know in ten years’ time, my knowledge of Jesus and of His Father will have grown and my understanding of the parables will have grown also. Satan keeps on trying to tell me that other people have more knowledge than I do on this subject and that there is no use writing a book on the parables when in ten years I will know more. Yet with careful conversation with the people I love, I have not listened to the doubts.

Who knows, one day when I am well known, people may buy my book by the tens of thousands. One day my mail bag may be full of people thanking me for the little words of wisdom that I have shared and on that day, even though I am a little seed right now in the world-wide scheme of influential Christian writers and speakers, I might be a big tree.

If you are insignificant and you are nothing and you have a whole lot of issues and problems and you feel so small and insignificant, you are the one that is going to be the mustard seed. You are the one that is going to be the big tree. The other herbs of the field, they do not grow big and they are the biggest seeds. The more insignificant you are, the more God can do with you.

Do you believe it? Write to me your comments. If this is encouraging, write a comment. Write to my email address. I would love to hear from you.



To read more about Matthew Robert Payne or to know how to book him to speak at your church click on my name Matthew Robert Payne