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18 ¶ Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” 20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
18. Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?
When considering how we could understand what the Kingdom of God is like, Jesus turns to an example in nature that we can see and understand. Knowing that God has made everything, we are then able to learn from one part of his creation to understand another. What, then, is God’s kingdom like?
Is it like a mighty army marching with banners and trumpets? No.
Is it like the raging sea, rolling onwards and sweeping everything before it? No, it does not look like that.
19. It is like a mustard seed, — You can hardly see it;
you can, however, taste it. It is pungent, but it is so small that you may easily not see it.
“Mustard seed,” —
19. which a man took and planted in his garden. It must be sown in prepared soil by someone who knows how to plant it so that it falls where it will grow.
19. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.
So “The birds of the air,” that might once have eaten it, now “perched in its branches.” Do you see the symbol? An illustration of the growth of the kingdom of God, the vitality of the truth of God, the energy with which, from a small beginning, God’s kingdom advances to a great finale!
Have you got this mustard seed in your heart? It may seem a very little thing to you; others may hardly notice it. It will grow. But it will not grow without watering. Seeds may lie long in the ground, but they will not sprout until the rain has fallen to water the earth. I pray that God will send showers of blessing upon you today, so that, even if you have no more than a grain of mustard seed in your heart, it may begin to grow.
Is the grain of mustard seed sending up its shoot above the ground? Then I pray that it may grow yet more till it won’t be just visible, but will be so prominent that it must be seen, and that everyone will be amazed at the birds of the air coming and lodging in its branches! Amen
teach us to be faithful in change and uncertainty,
that trusting in your word
and obeying your will
we may enter the unfailing joy of Jesus Christ our Lord.