The Mustard Seed parable is found in Matthew 13:31,32 and Mark 4:30–32. And the mustard seed itself is mentioned in Luke 17:6. The mustard seed (Sinapis nigra) or black mustard, grew wild and was cultivated in Palestine. It was used as a spice. In Jewish literature, because of its size, the mustard seed is frequently used to refer to smallness. It is smaller than the wheat or barley seeds. But the tree itself, when grown, is larger than any other cultivated plant.
The parable means that even though Satan tempted Adam and became the ruler of this world, it was nevertheless God’s “field.” The Father send His Son Jesus to conquer the devil and restore the ruler ship of this world to the original owner. But the Jewish leaders looked with disdain upon Jesus’ poor followers and his unlearned disciples who were mainly fishermen and peasants. They refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah and that God will use such a humble man to deliver the world. They did not believe that God will pass them by and use such insignificant group of followers. Jesus used the insignificant mustard seed to represent His “kingdom.” The kingdom and its subjects might appear insignificant now, but at the end they will be mighty through God’s power.
Jesus also resembled faith to a mustard seed “So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). Having faith is not a matter of quantity but of quality. The very smallest amount of faith is sufficient to accomplish impossible things. When the weak person lays hold on the unlimited power of God, nothing becomes too hard for him for “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). And he can claim victoriously “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,