If someone asked me to describe a kingdom, a mustard seed is not the first thing that would come to mind. Instead I would describe imposing castles, knights in armor and an army of warriors. But this is not how Jesus describes the Kingdom of God.
I can picture Jesus putting his finger to his chin and thinking out loud, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it (Luke 13:18, NASB).?” God’s Kingdom is not anything like the Roman Empire at the time Jesus walked the earth. God’s Kingdom is all about the things that appear small and insignificant to the world.
“It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES (Luke 13:19).” The tiny mustard seed which the world easily overlooks becomes a mighty tree that provides a home for the birds of the air. The phrase in all capital letters refers to Ezekiel 17:23 which describes the tree as being planted “that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ and commit to follow him, we become a child of God, a part of the Kingdom of God. We may seem small and insignificant to the world, but God will grow us into a tall tree recognizable by others. Our boughs and fruit will provide shade, nourishment and rest to others seeking refuge from the scorching heat of the world. It is a welcoming site that stands in contrast to the imposing walls of earthly kingdoms.
© 2020 CGThelen
On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, All the trees of the field will know that I am the LORD; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will perform it.” – Ezekiel 17:24 (NASB)