03 March 17, 2013, Matthew 13;31-32, Luke 13;18-19, Mark 4;30-32, The Parables Of Jesus - The Mustard Seed
THE PARABLES OF JESUSThe Parable of the Mustard Seed Matthew 13: 31-32 Luke 13:18-19 Mark 4:30-34 March 17, 2013 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Reference: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE PARABLES By Dr. R. T. Kendall
WHAT IS A PARABLE?• A simple story that illustrates a profound truth.• Allowed Jesus to move from the natural levels to explain the spiritual levels of life.• Target audience – “had ears”.• Used by Jesus to explain: The Kingdom of Heaven is like…………….
Last Week’s Lesson• Jesus’ 1st Parable: The Parable of the Sower.• Jesus explained the meaning of the parable.• Elements of the parable: sower, seeds, soil.• This parable explained the various responses people will have to hearing God’s word.
MUSTARD SEED PARABLE• Mustard seed is the size of a grain of sand.• Produces a plant 10 feet tall.• People were familiar with this seed and plant.• Oil in the seed gives it the flavor & odor.• Mustard used for seasoning & in medicines.
THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED• Matthew 13: 31-32• Luke 13:18-19• Mark 4:30-34• “The kingdom of God is like……………..”
THE KINGDOM OF GOD (HEAVEN)• The rule of God in heaven and on earth through Jesus as Savior.• Lord’s Prayer: “…. your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Mark 4:30-34 (NIV2011)• 30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. Mark 4:30-34 (NIV2011)
MUSTARD SEED PARABLE ELEMENTS• MUSTARD SEED – Smallest seed; Represents the “planted” Word of God.• GROUND – The world; the hearts of men.• LARGE GARDEN PLANT – Largest plant in the garden; not the largest tree; Represents the growth of the church.
MUSTARD SEED PARABLE ELEMENTS• BIRDS OF THE AIR – Various interpretations ▫ Presence of evil trying to dilute the church while taking advantage of its benefits. ▫ Or – ▫ God’s faithful who find refuge and rest in the branches of the tree (church) Benefits of the church – fellowship, worship, support Personal benefits - peace
MUSTARD SEED PARABLE ELEMENTS• Yet another interpretation: ▫ The parable is an allusion (implied reference) to Daniel 4:19-22 ▫ Dream of King Nebuchadnezzar ▫ The Kingdom of heaven will expand to world domination and people from all nations will rest in it as recorded in Revelation 11:15
QUOTE FROM “MUSTARD SEED” MINISTRY “We are like Luke’s parable of the mustard seed…………and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” “Today many special people reside in the safety of the branches of our Mustard Seed…..”
PURPOSES OF MUSTARD SEED PARABLE1. JESUS WAS ADDRESSING THE DISCIPLES’ VIEW OF HIS KINGDOM ▫ Acts 1:6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6 (NIV2011) ▫ Haggai 2:9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace, ’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Hag 2:9 (NIV2011)
Luke 17:20-21 (NIV2011)20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when thekingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The comingof the kingdom of God is not something that can beobserved, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There itis,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 17:20-21 (NIV2011)
PURPOSES OF MUSTARD SEED PARABLETHE CONCEPT OF FAITH WAS ALIEN TO THEPEOPLE. - Jewish religion did not involve faith, but following the law (Torah). - Priest was intercessor for man. - Judaism based on what you do, not what you believe.
Philippians 3:8-98 What is more, I consider everything a loss because ofthe surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider themgarbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him,not having a righteousness of my own that comes fromthe law, but that which is through faith in Christ—therighteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Philippians 3:8-9
PURPOSES OF MUSTARD SEED PARABLEJESUS PRESENTED AN ANALOGY OF EXTREMESAND CONTRASTS ▫ A small seed grows into a large plant. (Extremes) Jesus’ small origin, His birthplace, His parents Disciples’ occupation & number (12) ▫ The smallest becomes the greatest. (Contrasts) Rich – Poor Love – Hate Death – Life
JOHN 12:23-26• Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. JOHN 12:23-26
THE PROPHECY OF THE PARABLE• Jesus was announcing a new order (Church Age) had already begun.• The Kingdom of God was upon them at that time with Jesus as God in the flesh.• Jesus was prophesying about those who follow him. Matthew 16:24-25
MATTHEW 16:24-25 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. MATTHEW 16:24-25
THE POTENTIAL OF THE PARABLE• Matthew 17:14-20• Luke 17: 3-6• God is not looking for perfect faith, but faith in a perfect God.• Can a mustard seed be physically measured?• Can faith be measured?• What is faith? Hebrews 11:1
THE POTENTIAL OF THE PARABLE• HOW BIG IS THE MUSTARD SEED?• WHAT IS THE SIZE OF “THE FAITH AS SMALL AS A MUSTARD SEED”?• DOES THIS HAVE A PHYSICAL MEASUREMENT?
MATTHEW 17:14-2014 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesusand knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” hesaid. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often fallsinto the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to yourdisciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “You unbelievingand perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall Istay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring theboy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it cameout of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.19 Thenthe disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Whycouldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you haveso little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as amustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from hereto there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible foryou.” MATTHEW 17:14-20
LUKE 17:3-6• 3“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. LUKE 17:3-6
SIZE OF MUSTARD SEED FAITH?• Can the mustard seed be measured?• Can faith, then, be measured?• It is taking the “FIRST STEP”.• Making a commitment and taking action
WHAT IS FAITH?Hebrews 11:1• What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. (New Living Translation)Hebrews 11:1• Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.(NIV2011)
THE TEACHINGS OF THE PARABLE1. Do not be discouraged by small or slow beginnings. - Great faith begins small (mustard seed size)2. God can take an unlikely person and turn them into a sovereign vessel. - Look at the Disciples
THE TEACHINGS OF THE PARABLE3. God can take the most unpromising situation and turn it into triumph and glory. - Jesus on the cross looked like a hopeless situation - Romans 8:28 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:284. God can take the simplest and most elementary insight and turn it into a profound and life-changing testimony. - Mission First
MUSTARD SEED PARABLE SUMMARYThe parable of the mustard seed is about the growth ofthe Church (God’s Kingdom on earth) from one man(seed – Jesus) and 12 disciples.World Religions: Christianity 33%; Islam 21%; Non-religious 16%; Buddhism 6%; Other 22%; Judaism0.23%
ONE SOLITARY LIFE He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.He grew up in another obscure village,where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never set foot inside a big city.He never traveled two hundred miles from the place he was born. He never wrote a book, or held an office. He did none of these things that usually accompany greatness.
While he was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends deserted him. He was turned over to his enemies,and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had - his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today his is the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this "One Solitary Life."