Jesus gave a parable in Matt 13:31, 32 , Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 13:18,19 about a mustard seed. The account in Matt. says – “…The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”

What is the meaning of this parable? When Jesus here and elsewhere in this series of parables uses the term “kingdom of heaven” it appears he is not referring to the seat of government in the heaven but instead over that which it rules. In other words, the church or all who profess Christianity. In this “kingdom of heaven” there are to be found “weeds” and “worthless fish”. It would also be correct to say that this is the Son’s kingdom, note Matt. 13:41 – “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness.”

So we see there are lawless ones in the “kingdom of heaven” or in other words in the realm of Christianity. Returning now to the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus says that a man took that seed and sowed it in his field. This reminds us of the parable, also in Matt. 13, of the wheat and the weeds. It would appear that Jesus himself here is the man and the mustard seed would be the start of Christianity. The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds and that would seem to parallel the small beginning of Christianity. Only a few continued to follow him during his earthly ministry. Soon however, thousands began to openly declare faith in Jesus (Acts 2:41  4:4  5:14  6:7  9:31  11:21  14:1  14:21  16:5  17:4  17:12  17:34  18:8  19:26). Some records seem to indicate that by the end of the first century there may have been as many as 1 million Christians. Today roughly 2 billion people claim to view Jesus as Lord. Truly that small mustard seed has become a mighty tree.

As shown in the text we read in Matt 13:41 there would be a lawless element in the church an element that causes sin. These lawless ones would be eliminated by a work of separation. Would men do the separating work, perhaps in a world wide preaching work? No, that same verse lets us know that angels would do this work. Since all denominations have lawless elements in them it is obvious this separating work has not yet begun.

The parable of the net is a similar parable to the “wheat and the weeds” parable. It is found in Matt. 13:47-50. All christian denominations would be part of this large “net”. The preaching of the JWs or of any other church would be part of this ingathering. Throughout the centuries this net has gathered billions of people. It has gathered “good fish” as well as “worthless ones”. At the end of the age, or in other words at Jesus’ coming, a separation would take place. Again no human agency would do this separating work, only the angels would do it. This reminds of other texts that talk about this same separating work among those who claim Jesus as Lord. (Matt. 24:31  Matt. 25:31,32)

The “worthless fish” are the same as the “weeds” of verse 38. Also the same as “workers of lawlessness” of Matt. 7:21,22. And the “goats” of Matt. 25:40-46. All this helps us to understand that up to the present point of time in which we live there has been no “restoration” of true christianity to be found in one organization or church. The separation will be during the judgment of Christ’s household. It is as Paul says in 2 Cor 5:10 – “For we (all who claim to be christian throughout all history) must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless”. Those who are approved will pass on to be part of the Father’s kingdom. Matt 13:43 – “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom…”

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2 Comments on The Mustard Seed

  1. greybeard says:

    Hi Andrew, good post…

    You quoted: 2 Cor 5:10 – “For we (all who claim to be christian throughout all history) must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless”.

    Further in 2 Corinthians it says:

    2 Corinthians 5:18-20, “18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

    So witch id it? Will we be “repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless”?

    Or “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them”?

    Maybe some how it is both… I still take Romans 6:7 as literal, “because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

    I Just can’t see Jesus as ever being harsh with anyone on judgment day. Giving them what they deserve could be not letting them enter into the Kingdom as they thought they would. Just as Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. We know Moses will get another chance and I believe those that Jesus call’s “weeds” or “bad fish” will get another chance too. Sure the weeds are gathered and burned with fire. Maybe that symbolizes the second death, I don’t know. I would like to believe it is not the second death but first. I personally do not believe any man has had a fair chance born under sin with Satan on his back. All the cards are stacked against us. Jesus showed us the door. It is up to us to go through it. I as a parent, would leave that door open for my children as long as it was possible for them to have a change of heart.

    Your brother,
    Greybeard

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  2. serein says:

    i think people who love jesus and jehovah will get another chance i beleive that he looks into everyones hearts and that there will be some who wont get another chance,otherwise why even bother at all to even care or want to love jehovah if we get another chsnce any how why dont we just be down write horrid and worldy and nasty and be hatfull it dont matter cos jesus will give us another chance, no its not like that at all he cares about all and wants all to live but there will be some who no matter what wont care and only have selfishness in there hearts they wont get that chance at all,

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