Matthew Chapter 13- Part 3
Parable of the mustard seed- Read (Matthew 13:31–32), (Mark 4:30–32), and (Luke 13:18–19)
Jesus told his followers another parable- The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31, 32)
There are several varieties of mustard plants. Brassica nigra is a mustard tree that grows to about 10 feet; possibly Jesus was speaking of this tree as the end result of the sowing of a mustard seed. Mustard seed must have been the smallest of seeds in the geographical location that Jesus was in at that time for there are other seeds that are smaller.
The fact here being the growth of the kingdom of heaven. Though the beginnings were small, the kingdom of heaven has expanded mightily. Starting with the work of Jesus and later the first disciples, the power of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has propelled the gospel from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth. Though not all places have been covered as yet, it will be, in God's time.
The birds of the air nesting in the trees branches can signify both believers and unbelievers finding rest, peace and satisfaction from utilizing the resources of the kingdom. Some Bible interpreters however say that the birds can signify the presence of evil pervading the growing healthy tree (the kingdom/church).