"He put another parable before them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.'"
Matthew 13:31 (ESV)
Jesus loved talking in parables because people loved listening to them. Parables were not only given however for the sake of entertainment, but to make a message stick. What Jesus would usually teach through parable then must have been important if He wanted us to remember the story and the message.
One of the parables He shared compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard meed. While mustard seeds are not the smallest seeds, they are relatively small making it hard to imagine a nine to twelve foot stalk would grow out of it. Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a mustard seed in this way.
What is the Kingdom of Heaven? It's interesting that God talks about it so much, but never describes it in detail. God's Kingdom has such a wide scope, but for sure we are part of His Kingdom when we start believing.
The Seed Must "Die" Before It Starts Growing
One of the most interesting thoughts about seeds is that they have to dry up and die before they start growing. We see this both in ministry in its entirety and in the individual. The Kingdom of God was established through a death - the death of Jesus Christ who also carried on the cross the death of our sins. Though He died, however, He also rose again to prove that sin had indeed been conquered.
In our own lives as well, before we are to see God's Kingdom move in us, we must also experience death to ourselves - to our sin, our ungodly ambitions and our selfish means. Only then can growth start to happen as we are also resurrected with Christ in new life.
God's Work In The Heart Often Starts Out Small
God's work doesn't always start in a huge revival where hundreds of thousands are saved overnight. The time the early church was birthed, it started with eleven men, who then grew to over a hundred, then to a few thousand, and finally into numerous churches spread across countries.
God is a God of miracles, but sometimes miracles aren't big and flashy. They can come humbly - even sometimes as small and seemingly insignificant as a humble baby born to a carpenter and laid on a manger. God's work may often start small, but it never stays small for long. He makes it grow exponentially and tremendously not based on our talents, but based on His own work and timing.