Matthew 13:31-32 English Standard Version
31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
This is one of the shortest parables that Christ taught and has as it’s subject, the kingdom of heaven.
Christ compares the kingdom of heaven to the tiny mustard seed that grows into a large sturdy tree. In fact the mustard seed can grow into a tree as tall as 20 feet and be as wide as it is tall.
Our interpretation of the parable is that the “kingdom of heaven” refers to the earthly Church and the resultant throng of Christians who spend eternity in Heaven.
When asking people to define the “Church”, many will automatically say it is the building where public worship takes place.
Yes, we do call these buildings the “Church”, however the true Church is the total body of believing Christians. All Christians in the world today make up the body of Christ or the Church.
As we think back to the time of Christ, we see that the Church started with Jesus and 12 apostles. This would be analogous to the tiny mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds.
The tiny Church started with twelve, then grew to seventy and so on. It was originally composed of converted Jews who believed in and accepted Christ as their Savior. Then, Gentiles were converted and brought into the body of believers. This tiny Church grew against all odds and spread throughout Asia Minor and the Roman Empire. Even with the possibility of being put to death by the Romans, the Church continued to grow.
As of today, there are 2.2 billion people who identify as Christians in the world.
Think about that for a minute. From the first group of twelve, the body of Christ has grown to approximately 2.2 billion people. From a tiny mustard seed to a sturdy large tree.
Against all odds and persecution, from the tiny mustard seed, the Church has grown into the tree Christ alluded to in the parable.
However, there is more to the kingdom of heaven.
The Church is the body of believers who are alive on earth at any given time. This is only one part of the kingdom of heaven.
Those Christians who have died over the last 2,000 plus years under the New Covenant are also part of the kingdom of heaven. So are the believers who died under the Old Covenant. So are those who were found righteous in God’s sight before the Old Covenant.
So, you see how that tiny seed has grown into a massive tree. A group of untold number, who have been reconciled with God and spending eternity with Him.
Are you part of this kingdom of heaven that Christ was alluding to?
If not, it doesn’t take long to join. Simply bow before God, confess your sins in true repentance and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Please make that decision today.