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 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth,  yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.  He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Despite all of the glamor of the Roman empire and the huge walls of the temple, Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. Entire flocks of vultures and crows would change their course according to the march of the Roman army. They were so big and so powerful that they dust clouds on the march would be visible for miles. The Rabbis in the Sanhedrin were so powerful and noteworthy that any home they came to would offer them hospitality and a meal without hesitation. They had a free ride wherever they wanted to go.
Jesus describes the kingdom of God as something powerful that starts off super small. This would be a great encouragement to the disciples. They had gone out two by two to all different cities and talked to little groups of people. How could such small conversations about Jesus ever turn into anything significant? These conversations were like the smallest seeds on the earth.
There were times where Jesus stood up before crowds and spoke, but look at what it says at the end of this passage. He didn’t speak to crowds without a parable, but to His disciples, He explained everything. As Jesus advances through His life, He draws closer and closer to those that wish to draw closer to Him. At one point Herod requests an audience with Jesus and Jesus declines the invitation. He is focused on giving out the kingdom of God like a mustard seed and watching it grow.
It is easy to forget this when the news is full of hoopla over loud politicians and movie stars making a big deal out of things. That is a time for us to remember the things that really make changes in our lives. Not some news report, but a conversation with a friend at church, or some help we got from a co-worker on a Saturday in need.
The kingdom of God grows from tiny things while the world falls over itself trying to wear things that it says are important but aren’t. Let us be people of the Kingdom and celebrate the little mustard seeds that are planted day by day so that we can one day rejoice in a giant tree that has grown by God.