I Never Heard This Meaning on the Mustard Seed in the Bible

Seeds Inside Two Hands

One day I was reading my bible when God shined new light on the mustard seed and the parable about it. I always had an idea of what I thought it meant based on what I heard others preach and teach. However what God showed me opened up my eyes to something that was there all along, I just never saw it.

So what exactly does the mustard seed represent in the Bible? In Matthew 13:38 Jesus explains to the disciples the parable and translates the good seed as being children of the kingdom. After that he mentions the parable with the mustard seed. The mustard seed is a good seed which represents children of the kingdom. Therefore having faith as a grain of mustard seed also means to have faith as a child of the kingodom of God.

  • Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV) 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: 32 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 13:38 (KJV)  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
  • Matthew 17:20 (KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible” unto you.
  • Luke 17:6 (KJV)  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

When reading the Bible I like to use scripture to translate scripture. Jesus translates this word for us in a unique way for a reason. He wants us to see the scripture from his perspective. Now let’s take what we just learned from Jesus’s translation of the good seed and apply it to the mustard seed and the parable to get a clearer revelation.

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The Mustard Seed Is Good

In Matthew Chapter 13 Jesus speaks about multiple parables. He eventually talks about the Parable of the weeds/tares. Then immediately after that, he speaks about the mustard seed and the leaven parable.

Later on, the disciples specifically ask Jesus about the meaning of the Parable. Let’s take a quick look at this.

  • Matthew 13:36-39 (KJV)  Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  37  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;  38  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  39  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

It’s important to listen to how Jesus explains this parable so we can interpret the very next parable. Here Jesus says the one who sows the good seed is the Son of man aka Jesus and the good seed are the children of the kingdom.

He also notes the tares/weeds are children of the wicked one which was sowed by the devil.

He even clarifies that the field represents the world.

Now that we know how Jesus refers to good seed as children of the kingdom. Would it be incorrect to say that a mustard seed is considered a good seed? Of course not. Knowing this let’s take a look at the next parable.

The Mustard Seed Translated

Mustard Tree Near Water With Sun

Again the parable about the mustard seed was given by Jesus immediately after the parable of the tares and the field. (See Matthew 13:24-32) Lets now take a closer look at the parable concerning the mustard seed.

  • Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV) 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: 32 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.

From the previous parable (The tares and the field) Jesus explained that the person who sows the good seed is Him (The Son of man) and the person who sows the bad seed is the devil (The wicked one). This parable with the mustard seed is referring to a good seed and the good seed is considered the children of the kingdom.

Also since this seed is being sowed in the field we must remember that the field represents the world.

Now let’s take a look at this parable again and translate according to what Jesus said to the disciples.

  • Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a child of the kingdom, which Jesus took, and sowed in his world: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seed: 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.

This parable gives us a picture of what the kingdom of heaven is similar to for a born again believer. That being said people can only be set free/saved from sin through Jesus. You can only become a child of the kingdom by being born again through Jesus Christ.

This parable states Jesus sowed seed in the earth/world and the Bible says a seed can only take after its own kind. For example, an apple tree will produce apple seeds and more apple trees will grow. An orange tree will produce orange seeds and more orange trees will grow. You get the picture.

In the world, there are only two types of seeds a person can have. One comes from the tree of life and the other from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A person either has the devil’s seed (corruptible seed) or Jesus’s seed (incorruptible seed).

  • Genesis 1:11-12 (KJV)  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seedand the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  12  And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  • Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV)  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

When someone becomes born again they’re not only saved at that point but also considered part of the family of God. Their nature/identity changes when Jesus comes into their hearts. Just like how a tree/seed takes after its own kind. God removes the corruptible seed which comes from the devil (sin nature) that was in us and puts his incorruptible seed (The nature of God/Holy Spirit/Jesus) in its place.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 (KJV) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
  • John 14:6 (KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  • Acts 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
  • Romans 10:9 (KJV)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
  • John 3:3 (KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  • 1 Peter 1:23 (KJV)  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Remember the parable explains that the kingdom is like children of God that Jesus sowed in the earth. By us becoming children of God we now carry the incorruptible seed, Jesus who is sowed in us. We now walk around with the kingdom of God within us and are called to bring heaven to earth wherever we go just like Jesus did.

The kingdom isn’t meat or drink but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

So where is the Holy Spirit once you’re born again? In the believer! Think about that for a moment… The kingdom is tied to having righteousness, peace, and joy with the Holy Spirit. That only comes through Jesus.

  • Romans 14:17 (KJV)  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
  • Romans 8:14-17 (KJV)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
  • Matthew 6:9-10 (KJV)  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
  • John 17:14-21 (KJV)  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

God constantly is addressing believers from a place of sonship/identity. He constantly teaches the disciples/believers a language of how they are his children. Here are a few highlighted verses.

  • Romans 8:15 (KJV) ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
  • Matthew 6:9 (KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father
  • Matthew 23:9 (KJV)  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Notice the language God was trying to teach the disciples/believers. It wasn’t some language such as God is far away and “maybe” He hears us. Or a language such as “He is God and knows the truth but we are only a man/human”. This type of speaking is lies from the enemy. It’s a language or God being our Father and us being his children.

As born again believers begin to grow into the reality that they are now considered children of God, things begin to change. When Jesus was on earth there were some that hated him because he modeled life in the kingdom of God. He would only speak the truth. However, wherever he went people followed because he didn’t just “talk” about the kingdom, he gave them the kingdom. Let’s look at the parable again.

  • Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV) 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: 32 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.

As a born again believer begins to grow in the reality of them being a child of God. They begin to realize they are filled with the same Holy Spirit Jesus was filled with. They begin to grow into such a tree that people will gather around. Just like how people wanted to gather around Jesus.

They are called to give people the kingdom and tell them about Jesus. They are called to heal the sick, raise the dead, set the captives free and walk in the Spirit just like Jesus did.

  • John 17:18-20 (KJV)  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
  • Matthew 10:7-8 (KJV)  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
  • Luke 10:8-9 (KJV)  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:  9  And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

This is for all believers today. Don’t be of a doubtful mind. As we begin to walk in what Jesus paid a price for, we will not only be blessed but will be a blessing to others all around us through Jesus Christ. People will begin to come and see that God is good. They will come to you because of Christ in you and you will give them the kingdom of God. You have the pleasure to introduce them to Jesus and all He paid for them.

How will you introduce Jesus to them?

How Does The Mustard Seed Look Outside Of The Parable?

Two People Standing By Words On Ground Passion Led Us Here

Now that we have a clear understanding of what this parable and mustard seed means. Let’s take a look at some real-life action. Philip was one of the disciples and God explained the parable of the mustard seed to Him along with the other disciples.

So let’s see how He was a seed that Jesus has sown in the world. A seed that would grow into a tree where people would come and lodge in the branches.

  • Acts 8:4-13 (KJV)  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.  5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.  6  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  7  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.  8  And there was great joy in that city.  9  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:  10  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.  11  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.  12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  13  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

This is a prime example of the parable with the mustard seed. Philip believed what Jesus told Him. He walked as a child of God through Jesus Christ and signs/wonders followed. So much to the point that they actually believed what he preached about Jesus.

Simon was here doing sorceries and bewitched these people. He and the people were blinded by Satan. However when a child of God aka Phillip showed up on the scene even Simon the sorcerer realized what he had didn’t compare to God.

He ended up believing as well. Simon even continued to follow Phillip and wondered in awe at the miracles that kept being done.

Another example of this is with the apostles and Peter.

  • Acts 5:12-16 (KJV)  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.  13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.  14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)  15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Notice the birds and fowls of the air coming to lodge in the branches of the mustard seed that grew into a big tree. This is what happens when a believer begins to realize who they are in Christ.

That whole city was filled with joy after one child of God showed up. In this case Philip or the apostles in the other. You see we are considered a place where people in the world can come to us to experience the kingdom of God. That’s why God tells us as you go and preach say the kingdom of God is near you.

God will even draw people to the believer so he can give them Jesus through you!

This is because we are the ambassadors of the kingdom through Jesus Christ. The same Holy Spirit is in us (born again believers) that is in Jesus. So God is expecting us to respond the way Christ would.

The harvest is great but the laborers are few. My question to you is how will you end up presenting the kingdom to someone when they are near? When God draws someone to you, to introduce Jesus to them…What kingdom will you give them?

Whats Faith As A Mustard Seed Mean?

Small Plant Being Held In Hand

Now that we covered some groundwork on the mustard seed parable let’s dive into another portion of the Bible that talks about the mustard seed. Jesus also mentions the mustard seed in terms of faith. What could this mean?

  • Matthew 17:20 (KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible” unto you.
  • Luke 17:6 (KJV)  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Here is a little background on these two verses so we have a clearer picture of these statements. In Matthew, the disciples run into an issue casting out a demon. They are confused because up to this point they never ran into an issue casting out a demon. They then see Jesus come and cast out that very same demon they tried to, but couldn’t.

So they go to Jesus and ask why they couldn’t do this. Jesus addresses unbelief and if they had faith as a mustard seed.

In Luke, Jesus is speaking to the disciples on the subject of forgiving a brother. The disciples ask how many times they have to forgive a brother and Jesus says seventy times seven for one day. The disciples are confused yet again. Let’s face it sometimes it feels hard to forgive a person ONLY ONE time a day. I’m sure that’s how the disciples probably felt as well. I say this cause they immediately say to Jesus Increase our faith after that statement. Then Jesus brings up the subject of having faith as a grain of mustard seed.

In both of these scenarios, Jesus is dealing with a subject that the disciples are confused about. The disciples feel like these things are too difficult or hard to believe for. However, they want to know the truth so they can walk out what Jesus is telling them.

For a long time, I use to believe this referred to a certain size of faith. I thought we only needed a little bit of faith and big things could happen. This is something I constantly would hear different people say about these verses on the mustard seed and faith. Until one day God corrected my way of thinking on this.

I recall reading where Jesus explains the tares of the field to the disciples. Again immediately after that parable, he begins to talk about the mustard seed. Let’s refresh our memory.

  • Matthew 13:38 (KJV)  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

As I looked at this God spoke to me and about faith as a mustard seed.

Let me ask you this, would it be incorrect to say that the mustard seed represents a good type of seed? Of course not.

The mustard seed is a good type of seed. This good seed can also represent the children of the kingdom. Knowing this let’s take a look at those verses one more time and translate using what Jesus said.

  • Matthew 17:20 (KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    • Matthew 17:20 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a child of the kingdom, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
  • Luke 17:6 (KJV)  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
    • Luke 17:6 (KJV) And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a child of the kingdom, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

When God revealed this to me I was in awe. I’ve never heard anyone teach this anywhere? So, of course, I had to share this with whoever has ears to hear today.

Jesus wasn’t addressing a quantity or size of faith. He was addressing an identity issue that the disciples were experiencing. The disciples in these two scenarios weren’t seeing things from the perspective of them being a child of God.

That’s why they were in unbelief and couldn’t cast out the demon. That’s why they were asking for more faith to forgive someone. Forgiving someone was so hard for them to grasp, especially so many times in one day! In those moments the disciples were not looking at the current situation from the perspective of being a child of the kingdom of God. That’s why the mountain wasn’t moving!

It’s when you begin to see yourself the way God sees you that you start to walk the way Jesus walked. It’s that type of faith that you can speak to the sycamine tree to be planted in the sea and it will obey you. This mustard seed kind of faith is what God wants all his children to realize, believe it and then walk in it.

I can’t explain with words how important it is that God/Jesus paid such a high price that he wants his children to realize who they are! He wants them to understand they are his children right now. He doesn’t want them to wait. He just wants them to believe it.

He wants them to understand what he has given them right now! The more we begin to see this clearly, the more our walk will begin to look like how Jesus walked on earth to us and others all around us. 

This type of righteousness is considered milk in the Bible…Understanding righteousness is considered as one type of milk teaching in the word. Having faith down here towards God is considered milk as well.

  • Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV)  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
  • Hebrews 6:1-2 (KJV)  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

However, having faith from God and seeing from His perspective is considered one type of meat teaching in the Bible. Jesus even explains what faith is like from God’s perspective and gives the disciples the meat… If you have faith as a mustard seed… Think about that a moment…

This also means milk is when we see something from a natural viewpoint instead of God’s viewpoint. We are called to have the faith of a child of God. We are to see every situation as if we were looking through God’s eyes and respond to it how Jesus would.

God already sees us as his righteous children of the kingdom. Do you see it that way? Do you believe it? Do you have ears to hear this truth?

Don’t be of a doubtful mind. Just begin to believe it right now and walk in it! It’s that simple cause Jesus didn’t make it hard or complicated! Don’t let the devil try to confuse you by saying, “Did God really say” (See Genesis 3:1)

So as you can see the mustard seed kind of faith that Jesus was teaching the disciples about was an identity issue. They were facing an identity crisis at that time of unbelief. He was helping them to see how God sees them already! He was helping to renew their minds and get them to think about things above which was the real truth. When you can see yourself the way God sees you through Jesus Christ. Then you can be a blessing to help others the way God sees them through Jesus Christ!

I hope this post has blessed you and has opened your eyes to a new reality that God wants to show you. Take it back to God and ask Him about it. See what other scriptures he may reveal to you on the same subject! 

Bible Scripture Reference

  • I Never Heard This Meaning on the Mustard Seed in the Bible
    • Matthew 13:31-32
    • Matthew 13:38
    • Matthew 17:20
    • Luke 17:6
    • The Mustard Seed Is Good
      • Matthew 13:36-39
    • The Mustard Seed Translated
      • Matthew 13:24-32
      • Matthew 13:31-32
      • Genesis 1:11-12 
      • Genesis 3:14-15
      • 2 Corinthians 4:4-6
      • John 14:6
      • Acts 4:12
      • Romans 10:9
      • John 3:3
      • 1 Peter 1:23
      • Romans 14:17
      • Romans 8:14-17
      • Matthew 6:9-10
      • John 17:14-21
      • Matthew 23:9
      • John 17:18-20
      • Matthew 10:7-8
      • Luke 10:8-9
    • How Does The Mustard Seed Look Outside Of The Parable?
      • Acts 8:4-13
    • Whats Faith As A Mustard Seed Mean?
      • Matthew 17:20
      • Luke 17:6
      • Matthew 13:38
      • Matthew 17:20
      • Luke 17:6 
      • Hebrews 5:12-14
      • Hebrews 6:1-2
      • Genesis 3:1

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