The Mustard Tree
Yesterday I preached on the parable of the mustard seed from Mathew 13:31-32.
31 He gave them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest garden plant and becomes a tree, so that the wild birds come and nest in its branches.”
Most people, when they hear mustard seed in a Biblical context, remember Jesus’ words about having faith as small as a mustard seed and being able to move mountains (Matthew 17:20). That’s an amazing statement to be sure, but this one is no less significant. The key point is that the smallness of something in the beginning should never cause us to doubt the greatness of what it will accomplish or become. In this case, the Kingdom started with a handful of disciples and has already grown to be the largest faith movement in history–and it isn’t even done yet.
I’m of the opinion that small beginnings are beautiful. I’ve always had the ability to see the big potential of things even in the earliest stages. I see it almost like a movie in my mind. I see bigger crowds, great outreach, and massive celebrations of success. And yet some only see the small beginnings.
I don’t know what it is that makes the difference. Sometimes I try to describe to people the potential. Or to do as one of my pastors and mentors once told me and “paint a picture for them, then paint them in the picture.” Maybe it is all about faith. Maybe it’s just vision.
Either way, I look at this picture of a mustard tree and I shake in my boots. As the song says, “Little is much when God is in it.” Have faith, my friend. And hold strong when things are small, because small things grow when we nurture them.