If you were to write a book about the greatest kingdom in the world, you would probably say something about a very large kingdom with unmatched military power, an indestructible economy, and a capable king. To human eyes, these things are perfectly sensible but from a divine standpoint, they mean nothing. Jesus promised to build His kingdom (Matt. 16:18) and it is far superior to every human kingdom (Dan. 2:44), but its origin and characteristics are not worldly (John 18:36). The parable of the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31-32) reveals some of these divine attributes, particularly as it relates to the growth of the kingdom.
The mustard seed was the smallest seed used by the Jews in that time. However, its insignificance in size is overshadowed by the size of its fruit. Consider the church from this vantage point. From a purely human standpoint, its origin is insignificant. Its founder was born into the world in lowly circumstances. He grew up in an insignificant town (Matt. 2:23; John 1:46; 7:52). He had no formal training (John 7:15), no vast deposits of wealth (2 Cor. 8:9) and was rejected and murdered by His own people in the most insulting and gruesome way possible (John 1:11). Yet, the Kingdom of Christ was established and witnessed unprecedented growth in the first century (Col. 1:6).
It is encouraging to note that the kingdom can still grow today as it did then. “The seed of the kingdom is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). We serve the same God and have been given the same task. If we have the same conviction and spread the same seed, we can see the same results (Rom. 1:16; 10:18; Acts 8:4). The parable of the mustard seed reminds us that though man may see the kingdom of God as small and insignificant, it is, in reality, greater than any kingdom man could ever imagine.