“He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.’” — Matthew 13:31 (NIV84)
It once dawned on me that there is a consistent theme in all of the “kingdom of heaven” parables. And I don’t mean that they are about the kingdom of heaven. 🙂 What I noticed was that in all the parables the Master-Sower-Man claims ownership of this world. It is always His field or kingdom. You see, many claim that this world is theirs — ours — but it is not. It is God’s. Even Satan wrongly claims authority in this world, but he has none. He may have an influence, but not authority. The Master is never prevented from sowing, planting, reaping. The people who live for this worldly kingdom may spend their entire lives denying the reality of God, but none of that changes the fact that God is in control. He continually brings the truths of His kingdom into the one in which we live so that more and more may know the truth.
In today’s parable the Master planted a mustard seed in His field. In the last two parables the Master sowed seed(s). He sowed many seeds into his field. He was sowing the Word of God into the hearts of men. But in today’s parable, He sowed a single seed, and a mustard seed at that. What in the world is the significance of planting one of the smallest seeds known to man in that massive field? Simply this, He was planting His church. He was planting you and me. We are the body of Christ on this earth. And although small when it began with a few hundred followers, it quickly grew into thousands, and now millions (even billions) by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like a mustard tree is a place for birds to find rest, the church is a place for people of this world to find peace, hope, and forgiveness.
From an “eyes of sight” perspective, our task may look impossible at times. But simply look at what God has done through His church over time, and we can only be amazed. The church (we) must continue to commit itself to its purpose of reaching the lost and providing them a shelter from the attacks of this world. We must not shrink down because we sense we are small in stature because we have the God of the universe on our side. We must boldly go out and proclaim the wonderful deeds of the Master who works to reclaim what is rightfully His.