The Result of Planting a Small Seed
“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:  Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV)
The seed that Jesus was probably referring to is the Brassica nigra or mustard seed. According to Wikipedia; “The small (1 mm) seeds are hard and vary in color from dark brown to black. They are very flavorful, although they have almost no aroma. ” “The plant itself can grow from 2 to 8 feet tall with racemes of small yellow flowers. These flowers are usually up to 1/3″ across, with 4 petals each. Its leaves are covered in small hairs. The leaves can wilt on hot days, but recover at night.” In his book “All the Plants of the Bible” Winifred Walker on pg. 120 says, “The mustard is found growing wild in many parts of the world, including Israel, where it is also cultivated. In that country it grows to so great a size that it can screen a mounted rider, and is a favorite haunt of linnets and finches.” “Mustard for the table comes from the seeds.” He also states that a poultice made from the seeds was used before medicine to treat certain illnesses. Sufice it to say that this little seed has the power to produce a lot of good things. Yet when we look at his teaching he was not only speaking of the power of these little seeds to produce great good, he was, in the context, teaching that a little evil can also produce much trouble and heartache. Jesus was teaching us the power of sowing or establishing things in our lives.
A story is told of a man who was visiting a farmer and saw him planting his field. “What are you sowing he asked?” “Wheat was the answer.” “And what do you expect to reap from it?” he asked. “Why wheat of course,” said the farmer. The very same day some little thing provoked the farmer to go into a tyrade of cursing and swearing. The visitor asked “And what are you sowing now?” “What!” he said, in a subdued and thoughtful tone, “Do you take such serious views of life as that, such serious views of every mood, word and action?” [Here is his very powerful reply] “Yes,” was the reply; “for every mood helps to form the permanent temper; and for every word we must give account; and every act but aids to form a habit; and habits are to the soul what veins and arteries are to the blood- the courses in which it moves, and will move forever. By all these little things we are forming character, and that character will go with us to eternity, and according to it will be our destiny forever.” Some things can be very deceiving and usually it is not the big things.
Question #1 Do you think that what we sow in life is important to our future? Explain.
The Little Foxes
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Song 2:15 (KJV)
In the time of Jesus walls were built around vineyards to protect the grapes from invaders of jackals and foxes. A tower was built so a guard could see the entire vineyard. A large fox could be easily detected but the little ones could slip in without being seen and spoil the harvest of good grapes. This is exactly what a little evil can do in a person’s life.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption…” Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV)
“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little [my emphasis] folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” Eccles. 10:1 (KJV)
The wise man Solomon understood this principle. The apothecary was an ointment, which was meant for blessing and anointing. It was put together in hopes of blessing someone. Yet all it would take is one dead fly to ruin a whole batch. Little things are important. He says here that this is the same as someone who desires honor and wisdom and in a moment of weakness does something wrong. Many times he/she will pay for their action for a long time. Sometimes for life. Well, I have looked at the negative of this parable enough (which is actually positive if you look at it the right way). Let’s turn this around and see the great possibilities when we sow good seeds.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. …but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV)
When we sow good things in life the end result will be good things. An example is the corn seed. One corn seed will produce a stalk and then usually three to four ears of corn with approximately 200 seeds per ear which translates into six to eight hundred seeds. If these seeds were planted again the potential in just one short season would be a mighty increase of six hundred forty thousand times. Sowing little good things has the potential for great results. If you will notice, this analogy applies to the entire plant kingdom. Each seed of every species has great potential when it is planted. Why not start today planting good seeds in your life. Seeds of kindness, love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness and respect. You may be surprised at the outcome.
Question #2 Can you think of a way to sow good seeds? Bad seeds?
An Added Dimension
Our understanding of this parable would not be complete until we look at another aspect of Jesus’ teaching. The Birds. No he wasn’t referring to the movie that was so named. He was talking about the things in life that will try to steal or kill the harvest of good seeds that we have sown. We all know that birds love seeds. He made reference to this in another parable.
“And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:” Matthew 13:4 (KJV)
The birds represent the work of the wicked one the devil.
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” Matthew 13:19 (KJV)
One reality of farming is the pest factor. Farmers are always concerned about the little things coming and devouring the fruits of their hard labor. For example, one year I planted grass seed in my yard. Some of the seeds were left over and I put the sack into the metal shed until the next spring when I would (I thought I would) spread some more. Well, during the winter, those little mice got into the sack and split open every one of those little seeds and left me with the hulls. What Jesus is trying to teach us is the fact that sowing good seeds is not always easy but it is fruitful. Much seed will seemingly be wasted but the ones that do make it into good ground will more than make up for the loss. He is teaching us to sow good seeds and leave the harvest up to him. Yes there will be birds who will eat some of the crop but there will be a harvest and it is worth the time and effort to sow good seeds.
Question #3 Have you ever done something nice for someone who didn’t thank you in return? Did you decide to quit being nice?
When we see the power of planting small things and get involved in the process great things will happen. The results can set you free to be happy and fulfilled. When we sow to the Spirit we will reap everlasting life. It doesn’t stop there however, for the fruit of Gods’ Spirit produces great things.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance (self control): against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
Do you need any of these qualities in your life? You can have them by sowing little things. The first step is to turn to God with all of your heart and ask him to fill you with his Spirit. It will be a life changing experience.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4 (KJV)
When his Spirit fills you it will bring into your life love, joy, peace and all of his qualities and character. Sound good? It is! If you would like to know more about being filled with Gods’ Spirit so you can have the fruit of his Spirit let me know. You can do this by clicking here and I will get with you as soon as possible. I would love to pray with you. Someone in your area can help you pray through to a powerful experience with God. Thanks for going through this lesson with me. I hope it has been a blessing to you. Let me know what you think your comments are very important to me. If this lesson has been a blessing to you tell a friend and as always, may God richly bless you!
Focus on Freedom