Jesus told a very short parable about the kingdom of God being like a mustard seed (one of the smallest seeds) sown in a field, and it grew so large that all the birds nested in its branches.
What Jesus was saying is, with slight exaggeration to embellish the story, that the tiny seed represents the initial planting of the Church with just Jesus and a ragtag of followers.
The mustard tree represents the vast length and width, height and depth the kingdom of God, or the Church, would grow to become on the earth, and the birds represent the followers.
Those hearing would have understood Jesus was saying the kingdom of God was for all who believed in him regardless of race or creed.
Because the Middle East where Jesus lived and ministered is one of the main bird migration routes called the Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway, and is an absolute bottleneck for birds flying between Europe and Egypt. www.pathsofjordan.net/birdwatching-in-jordan
Twice a year the skies, trees, and bushes would have been alive with birds of all species, and apparently, birds love mustard seeds. They would have flocked to such a large mustard tree.
Isn’t it amazing how much detail can be contained in such a short parable?
After Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
After Jesus had died and then arisen, and after Pentecost, Peter and the apostles started preaching, performing miracles, and healing the sick, but they were arrested because of this and put into jail.
However, an angel of the Lord opened the doors and let them out. They then went to the Temple to continue preaching, which upset the Sadducees, who wanted something done about these men.
The Book of Acts records a meeting where Peter and the apostles had to stand before a council seeking to close down the new Christian movement because of the preaching and healing.
But the elders advised caution, saying that men had come before claiming to be the Messiah, but it had never amounted to anything. If these men were following the word of another mere man (the elders said), it would also fail; but if it is of God, nothing will stop them. Acts 5:37–39
Today we know how that line of thinking has worked out because there are now an estimated 2.4 billion Christians worldwide – approximately one-third of the world’s population.
What Does This Mean for Us Today?
In another parable about mustard seeds, Jesus said that for anyone with faith just the size of a mustard seed, nothing would be impossible; the fact that you’re reading this now shows that you have at least a mustard seed of faith.
That means you have the faith you need for God (if He is not already) to come into your life, to be one of the birds in the tree. God can take you to new heights when you step out in faith and join the tree.