Revelations from the Word

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The Kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Another parable He put forth to them, saying: 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 [kataskenoo] in its branches" (Matthew 13:31-32).

Jesus used the grain of mustard seed to speak to His disciples about faith (Matthew 17:20). Jesus is the author of faith and the One who brings it to perfection (Hebrews 12:2). The Kingdom of God is based on faith in Jesus Christ who desires to perfect it in each one of us, until He makes it as perfect as the faith of God (Mark 11:22). Jesus is that man who came on to the earth to sow faith – a perfect faith as Himself was perfect – into the world, "He grew like a tender shoot, like a shoot that comes out of a dry ground and He was despised and rejected by men" (Isaiah 53:1-3).

The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of faith and Jesus is the King who gives continual growth to His eternal Kingdom (Isaiah 9:5-6). Even if it was this minute grain sown in an arid field or was 400 years without a prophetic word, it becomes the largest plant in the field. It follows the example of the stone that Daniel spoke of, which became a great mountain and covered the whole earth (Daniel 2:35). It even becomes a tree where birds can come and build their nests. As the dove symbolised the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus (Matthew 3:16), the birds symbolise the angels who work for the Kingdom of God, obeying the voice of the Word of God (Psalm 103:20). As the heavens opened above Jesus at the time of His baptism, so the heavens opened that the angels might operate in the Kingdom.

The Greek verb kataskenoo means 'to pitch one's tent', 'to fix one's dwelling'. It has its origin in the Greek verb skenoo which means 'to live', 'to tabernacle'. By coming into an earthly body, Jesus tabernacled among us (John 1:14) to serve men (Matthew 20:28). And now the angels tabernacle in the Kingdom of God to serve the chosen (Hebrews 1:14). This is why they can sometimes appear to us in visible human form. The vision that God gave to David (Psalm 16:7-11) has been accomplished: Jesus, the grain of mustard seed, descended from David, has died to give life to the Kingdom of God. Because He knew no corruption, He has been raised to the right hand of God to pour out His Spirit. He makes known the way for us and counsels us (Acts 2:25-33). This is why David, at the time of His vision (Psalm 16:9), was full of joy and his body, full of hope, entered into rest (Acts 2:26 Living Word).