The Mustard Seed

Mar 29, 2020 | Blog, The Parables Project

Matthew 13: 31-32, Mark 4: 30-32, Luke 13: 18-19

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;  yes when it is sown it grows up up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

Completely Non-Expert Interpretation:

This parable illustrates the future size of the Kingdom of God that will result from its deceptively small beginning.  There’s a huge contrast in size here between the tiny mustard seed and its mature shrub of ten to twelve feet. The birds represent the Gentiles.  Jesus is sowing the kingdom in a small band of disciples and expects it to grow into a worldwide church that welcomes the Gentiles into its folds and that will sanctify the whole world.

Think of it like a Youtube channel with just a few followers that grows into a Youtube empire.  It seems kind of pointless and pitiful for the Lamb-like Youtuber to put his heart and soul into content when the only people seeing it are his mother, his twelve buddies and some guy that used to sit behind him in woodshop who, he’s worried, will wind up on America’s Most Wanted some day.

But this is his Father’s mission, so he persists. He keeps adding content.  Slowly, he adds videos that are loved (Matthew 7:1) and videos that are difficult and make people unsubscibe (John 6: 22-71).  He added music to his videos (cured the sick), was a pro at editing with iMovie (drove out demons) and even added animation here and there (raised people from the dead).  He saves up for a nice Go-Pro (Saint Paul) and a drone (the Gospels).

 His mom, who loves to ponder his videos in her heart and who is constantly going on and on to her friends about his Youtube channel, insisted that he kick off the whole thing at her friends’ house in Cana.

He’s had a few thumbs down at this point (the Pharisees) and some unkind comments (the Sadducees).  People have even tried to kill him. At first, they’d make his human nature want to lay in bed all day weeping, but given some time and with the help of his God nature, he developed a thick skin.  He could now reply to mean comments with class and decorum, even when he wanted to call the commenter “A big, dumb, mean, poopy head.”

He gets all of his social media in place.  He’s got a Facebook (the woman at the well), TikTok (the blind guy), Instagram (the guy with the mat), Pinterest (1 of the 10 lepers) and whatever new-fangled technology comes along to help him promote his channel (all the Christians to come ad infinitum).

It’s taken a bit of time, but by Palm Sunday he’s slowly grown his followers into a decently respectable number and then BOOM!  One of his videos goes viral (the Resurrection). Overnight his Youtube follower numbers explode into the hundreds of thousands (It was a pretty awesome video) but he can handle it.  He’s worked hard to build a strong foundation (on Peter), to work out all the kinks (the sacraments) and to ready his empire for both the good and bad (and we’re on the internet here so bad means downright inhuman) so that now he and his Youtube empire can weather whatever comes along and the gates of hell (Twitter) will not prevail against it.

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  1. John Handrahan

    Wonderful synopsis of the mustard seed! I love the updating of terminology to bring it into real life. I just don’t know how to post a reply from this location…

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