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My book is now published and available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. “Out of darkness, Into the Light.” By Michele Frantz
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Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, … Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, … becometh a tree.” Matt. 13:31-32
While reading the lesson this week on Spirit the thought of the mustard seed came to me. So, as usual, I started to do some research. I wanted to know more about the mustard seed and tree. 😊
I know that in Matthew Jesus referred to the mustard seed becoming a tree. I wondered about that as I had seen fields of mustard that were not trees but plants. I did a search and found that mustard can be a tree, a plant, or a bush. In this case, a mustard tree is considered a plant but called a tree. Most plants are planted in gardens or fields and stay close to the ground. The bush is usually planted and used as feed for the livestock. The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds and grows into the largest of plants (tree in this case). The mustard tree usually reaches about twenty feet. It also has a root system that has a reach of about the same size as the tree itself. The roots grow deep and spread far. Okay now that I have that cleared up, let’s move on.
Another parable put he forth unto them, [his disciples] saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matthew 13:31, 32) Birds don’t actually lodge in mustard trees. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know, but it is believed that Jesus, as a Bible scholar, said that because of what is written in Daniel.
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, [now here it comes,] and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; (Daniel 4:10–13)
That story continues with Daniel interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel had to make a choice, would he tell the King the truth, which was bad news for him, or slant the news telling him it was about his enemy thus protecting Daniel from the possible anger of the King. Daniel told him the truth. The dream told of the King’s downfall, because of his lack of faith in the Lord, and a watcher, who was considered the heavenly counsel back then, came and told that the tree, which was symbolic of the King, should be cut down, but the stump left. This indicated that there was the possibility of redemption, and it could grow again.
I love this message; do I love others enough to tell them the truth even if it is bad news and might come back on me unfavorably. It is not easy, but I find that when done in love it always turns out favorably.
In Dan. 34, The King sees the light, “and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him…” He had a change of heart, and all was well, 😊 and the tree could grow again.
I kind of got off track here but not too far, it is a good lesson, so I’m leaving it here. 😊
Back to Jesus’ parable. There are two ways I think of the mustard seed; first as the seed of Christianity. He was talking with his disciples, and I believe he was trying to encourage them not to get caught up in the smallness of the movement, that it would grow, and it did. Those that opposed Christianity tried to stop its growth by crucifying Jesus, but remember the root system, it is so deep and strong that cutting down the tree couldn’t prevent it from flourishing, it has continued to grow for more than 2000 years.
There is a second way to look at this parable; as Jesus stated in Matt. 17:20. His disciples came to him and wanted to know why they could not heal a man’s son, and Jesus replied, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
The disciples had doubts. They had not yet crossed the bridge into the realm of complete understanding. They may not have believed God powerful enough to move mountains. I always thought of the mountains that Jesus spoke of as what we would call big problems. But let’s not forget the far-reaching roots of the tree are like an anchor. If our small faith is anchored in God, nothing can pull it off the path, it can only continue to grow. Jesus said it only takes a little faith to heal. If we hold to our faith and trust in the power of God, it grows, “and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
The parable of the mustard seed also has a twin like the treasure parable had the pearl of great price. The mustard seeds twin is the parable of the leaven.
“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matthew 13:33) Leaven or Yeast is something that starts very small and causes a change in what it enters and grows into something very big.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15) “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:12)
I knew I had to beware of false prophets and embrace the leaven of the kingdom of heaven as taught by Christ Jesus. It is his leaven I wanted to influence my thinking and grow in me. I found I needed to beware of what I watched on TV and what I let into my thought from those around me. When I was new on my spiritual journey it was easy to be influenced by other modes of thought. Until my root system was firmly grounded in Spirit, I needed to protect the path I choose.
Of course, that doesn’t mean my life will be a bed of roses, I will have challenges to meet but I now have the tools I need to meet them. Thank you, Jesus. I also need to thank Mrs. Eddy, her book Science and Health, which is all about Jesus’ teachings, helped me to see the Bible in a more understandable way.
I hope something I’ve said today will help you choose a mustard seed that will grow and anchor you in the arms of God, whose Love encircles beneath, around, and above.
Have a wonderful day!