United Church of God

Letter From William Bradford - August 18, 2023

Letter From William Bradford

August 18, 2023

The Mustard Seed and the Kingdom of God

The sixth meeting of the NWI spokesman's club took place this past Tuesday. During the meeting, one of the speakers shared a message regarding the parable of the mustard seed and demonstrated valuable insights into the Kingdom of God.

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."  (Matt 13:31-31, NKJV)

The parable highlights the remarkable growth of the mustard seed in comparison to its initial size. To get an idea of the actual size of a mustard seed, simply search for "mustard seed" on Google and browse through the images. 

At the conclusion of the club meeting a member presented to me a zip-locked bag filled with tiny mustard seeds. Upon inspection, the seeds resembled small, black specks similar in size to freshly ground pepper.   In this parable, Jesus called mustard seeds "the least of the seeds"

This parable teaches us that the Kingdom of God is comparable to a tiny mustard seed that grows into a large plant, capable of providing shelter for birds to build their nests. The analogy would have been readily understood by the residents of Galilee and Judea, particularly when compared to other indigenous plant species in the area.

The growth of the Kingdom of God begins with Jesus, who qualifies as the King and the first of the first fruits. The Kingdom expands as the first fruits enter the Kingdom, culminating in a larger harvest represented by the Feast of Tabernacles. The Last Great Day symbolizes the continued growth of the Kingdom beyond even this point.   How big will the Kingdom become?   We have some indications by what Paul wrote to the Romans.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22, NKJV)

Although the Bible does not explicitly state it, it is plausible that the entirety of the universe is encompassed within the parable of the mustard seed. This is supported by observations made through space cameras, which indicate that the universe as far as we can tell today is currently trapped in a state of futility (without purpose) and eagerly awaits liberation from this condition. 

The growth of the Kingdom of God is beyond human imagination. In light of this it is truly remarkable is that God is extending an invitation to us to be a part of an everlasting Kingdome where the increase and peace have no end. The scale of this undertaking remains unknown, but we can be certain that it surpasses our wildest dreams.

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1.Cor 2:9)

As the fall Holy Days draw near and we gather for the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Eighth Day, we can expect to hear even more uplifting news about the arrival of the Kingdom of God.

As Paul wrote the Thessalonians "may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all". (1 Thessalonians 3:12, NKJV)