31 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”
Jesus now compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed. There are other times that Jesus tells us that all it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed to accomplish great feats in life for His Kingdom. There is much similarity between these two comparisons.
The man represents Jesus and His field is our heart; He plants the seed in us. The seed is God’s Word, His Gospel, His Truth planted in our hearts. I love the way James explains it:
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
Jesus plants the Word in our hearts. As it grows in the soil of our hearts (remember that Jesus talked about making our hearts “good soil” for His Word to grow), it becomes a huge majestic tree growing larger than other trees. This is the potential of the Kingdom of God growing in us. His Kingdom is His reign in our hearts and subsequently our lives. But when a seed is planted, what must we do? We must care for it, water it, and protect it until it grows big enough to care for itself. In the parable of the sower, we saw how the seed can be easily snatched up, burnt out, or choked out. We must work to let it grow in the soil of our hearts.
We do this by following His commands and ridding ourselves of all that will come against it. Our spiritual battle is one that occurs in our hearts, as our enemy attacks our minds to win our souls. We need to recognize that the Kingdom of God is not a physical one, like the Jews had hoped, but a spiritual one. This makes it limitless! However, it also makes its influence in our lives volatile. We must fight to remain in this Kingdom. God gives us the tools and power we need to do so, but we must be very active and purposeful in doing so. This is why James follows up the above quotes verse with:
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
We must work to build up and nurture God’s Kingdom in our hearts so that we can see it be unleashed here on earth as it is in heaven.