THE MUSTARD SEED – JESUS’ PARABLES: Mark 4:30-34

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SCRIPTURE

Mark 4:30-34 30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

BIG IDEA

There are at least two implications of Jesus’ teaching about kingdom growth in this passage: both kingdom growth within us and among us, though small as a seed at their start, will one day be as large as trees.

First, there will be kingdom growth within us. God’s aim for your life, Christian, is not simply to make you happy. His aim is to make you holy. The good news for us is when God aims for something, He doesn’t miss the mark. If He aims to make you holy, holy you will be. How much different will you be now compared with when Jesus perfects you in heaven? Jesus says you’ll be as different as a tree is from a seed.

Second, there will be kingdom growth among us. Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual reality now, as He rules and reigns in the hearts and lives of Christians. But it is perpetually moving towards an all encompassing kingdom—spiritual and physical—and will be consummated when Jesus returns. This means the world we all want is coming. It will be ushered in by the one who “offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins.” This is all for God’s glory and the joy of those trust the one who “by a single offering has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:11-14). 

DISCUSSION

1. Was there anything from the sermon, big idea, or Mark 4:30-34 that stood out to you? challenged you? or confused you? 

If He aims to make you holy, holy you will be. How much different will you be now compared with when Jesus perfects you in heaven? Jesus says you’ll be as different as a tree is from a seed. 

2. Is this the general message you’ve heard about Christian growth? Elaborate on your answer. 

3. How can this news about God’s promise to grow us motivate us to all the more put our sin to death, trust him, follow him, tell others about Him? 

Jesus’ kingdom is perpetually moving towards an all encompassing kingdom—spiritual and physical—and will be consummated when He returns. This means the world we all want is coming. It will be ushered in by the one who “offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins.” This is all for God’s glory and the joy of those who trust the one who “by a single offering has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:11-14). 

4. Can you think of any passages in the Bible which describe what this “all encompassing kingdom” will be like? 

5. According to Hebrews 10:11-14, what did it cost Jesus to bring about His kingdom with perfected citizens? 

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