Crossroads: The Parable of the Mustard Seed

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Mark 4:30-34

Your Story

Have you ever planted something and watched it grow? Did it grow larger than you expected?

My Story and the Bible Story

If you have ever planted a flower, you know that it starts from a tiny seed. That seed doesn’t look like much; in fact, you might lose it if you drop it. But when you put that seed in soil, cover it up, and water it, something amazing starts to happen. Pretty soon, you start to see green sprouts. And if you give it sunlight and water, that flower starts to grow. It begins to grow big and strong. Think about all the flowers you have seen. Every single one of them started with a tiny seed. Think about the trees you see all around you. Those start from seeds as well. Their seeds may look different than flower seeds (for instance, the seeds for oak trees are acorns), but they all started out as seeds. They needed some water and some sunlight to grow, but grow they did. The kingdom of God is like that as well.

Read Mark 4:30-34. From the NIV: Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything.

A mustard seed is tiny. And yet, Jesus compares it to the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God started with one small seed: Jesus. And then it spread through the disciples. As the disciples told people about Jesus, more and more people believed. And as they believed, the kingdom of God grew until it had touched billions of people. And still it continued to grow. Thousands and thousands of years later, the kingdom of God is still growing. Like that tiny mustard seed that can grow to be 8 feet tall (all that from a tiny seed!), the kingdom of God continues to grow big and strong. It started as something small, but then it grew into something amazing.

You are small too. But you are growing. And you are part of the kingdom of God. As you grow, you can do many things for God’s kingdom. You can tell others about God’s love. You can be kind to others. You can help others when they need help. You can help at church. You can help your parents and your brothers or sisters. You can do many things for the kingdom of God. And every time you tell someone about God, every time you share God’s love with others, you are helping the kingdom of God grow. It started out like that tiny seed, but it grew into something amazing. You may not feel like you can do big things for the kingdom of God, but know that every small thing you do, every time you are kind to someone or show God’s love, you are making the kingdom of God a bit bigger.

Discussion

• What can you do to help the kingdom of God?
• Take a walk outside. Stop when you see an interesting flower or tree and talk about how it grows. Remind your family that each plant came from a seed. Talk about some plants that you may want to care for and watch grow.
• Ask your children to share what else the kingdom of God might be like. Are there other comparisons they can think of?

Prayer

Thank God for God’s kingdom. Praise God for people who are willing to share God’s love with others. Ask for help in sharing God’s love with those around us.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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