Bible Reading: Matthew 13:24-32
Key Verse: Verse 32 – “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."
Key Words: greatest among herbs
J. Vernon McGee says the following in regard to Matthew 13:31-32: “The mustard tree is an unlikely symbol of the church or of individual Christians. Ordinarily, fruit-bearing trees are used to depict believers. Mustard is a condiment and has no food value. It’s not wheat germ, loaded with vitamins; it’s just good on hot dogs and hamburgers. Mustard is not a food you can live on.
“The mustard seed does not grow into a mighty oak like the little acorn does. It is a shrub which thrives best in desert lands. The mustard seed ‘is the least of all seeds.’ Several years ago a liberal preacher in our area made the discovery that the mustard seed is not the least of all seeds. He thought he had found an error in the Bible. What did our Lord mean by ‘the least of all seeds?’...the herb's speed of growth of the mustard seed.”
I believe the point is clear...that God desires that we grow. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.
“’The birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.’ Years ago I heard another liberal preacher interpret the birds as being different denominations. He spoke of the Baptist birds, the Presbyterian birds, the Methodist birds, and all other church groups as being birds. That, of course, is a contradiction of our Lord’s own interpretation of the birds in the first parable. We can be sure that the birds in the parables of this discourse do not speak of anything good, but rather they represent evil. The birds are the ones that took the seed which fell by the wayside. Our Lord said that they represent the enemy who is Satan. I am afraid that the church today is a mustard tree filled with a lot of dirty birds!”
When God desires that we be “the greatest,” we have become the least.
What to do:
✞ Remember, we are each a burden or a blessing. We are salt or mustard. Which are you?
Pastor’s Note: I went out looking for the church and found it in the world. I went looking for the world and found it in the church. What a shame!
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