At the time of Jesus, the mustard seed was one of the smallest seeds that people would have been familiar with. Jesus said that God’s Kingdom grows like a mustard seed in a parable. What did Jesus mean by that?
In this parable, Jesus stressed that His Kingdom would have a small beginning. Think of Jesus with twelve disciples and a few hundred followers. This small group would grow to millions of people having faith in Jesus.
How Has Your Faith Grown?
I can remember my mother reading me Bible stories as a toddler. I loved this, and it was my first experience hearing the word of God. This was my small beginning. A friend’s grandmother came to faith when she was almost 100 years old. God never gives up on us!
Jesus gives us insight into the growth of this tiny mustard seed. Mark 4: 30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” 
Don’t Underestimate the Mustard Seed
In today’s verses, Jesus talks about this tiny mustard seed that helps people better understand the growth of God’s Kingdom. As people, we tend not to like small things. We live in the super-sized age. We think bigger is better. A big house, a big store, and a big school are considered more important. Many people desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. Small is not valued or to be taken seriously.
Through this parable, Jesus challenges us to think differently. This tiny seed would grow into the largest plants in the garden and become like a small tree. It only took a short time for the mustard plant to grow large. Jesus compares the Kingdom of heaven to this mustard seed. It may be small, but it has the potential for tremendous growth. You may think a small church is insignificant, but don’t overlook what God can do! Remember, God changed the history of the world with just a few followers. We would consider that a small church today.
When Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem after the exile, it was much smaller than Solomon’s temple had been. People were unhappy. But God was pleased with Zerubbabel, the builder, and the temple. Zechariah 4: 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. Don’t underestimate small beginnings; God’s Kingdom grows like a mustard seed. To hear more, listen here:
[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.