Mark 4:30-32 (KJV) Jesus said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
A child sitting at the dinner table asked “Are caterpillars good to eat?” His mother said “No they’re not good to eat. Why ask such a silly question?” The boy replied “Well, there was one in your salad – but it’s gone now!”
Small things matter.
People often discount the small things of life, but elevate the big things. But God uses small things, and God begins all great works with small things. You might be a big person now, but you began as a small thing, a seed that was lovingly brought forth into this world by your mother. Billy Graham was a baby once. The biggest man there ever was was at one time a baby – feeble and small – held in your mother’s arms. The greatest lion – a man-eater – was at one time a kitten. If you’ve ever stepped in a fire ant bed or on a yellow jacket nest you know how the smallest of creatures can make a man several thousand times their size run and flail like a fool.
Small things matter, because God works through small things.
When Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God and repentance a lot of people asked how can such a small person even speak of such great things. When Philip told Nathaniel about Jesus Nathaniel said:
John 1:46 (NLT) “Nazareth! …. Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Jesus came from a nowhere little town that modern day archeologists say only had about 400 people. This was Sawdust Tennessee or Climax Georgia. Jesus’ daddy Joseph was considered no one, just a carpenter. When Jesus began to preach they scoffed:
Mark 6:3-4 (NLT) “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
He is too small and insignificant to be the Messiah! Even His brothers and sisters did not believe Jesus when He came to preach. The Bible tells us that:
Mark 3:21 (NLT) When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
Jesus was the son of a carpenter, an unknown and untrained Rabbi by the world’s standards. The Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees all discounted Him as insignificant. Yet what they failed to realize is that small things matter to God. God uses the small, the insignificant, the broken. God is in the small stuff. God uses the surrendered, the humble, that which the world considers insignificant.
A humble and obedient Moses lifted up a walking stick over the Red Sea, and a nation was saved (Exodus 4:1-9).
God’s Samson took the jawbone of an ass and killed a thousand Philistines with it (Judges 15:14-16).
A small shepherd boy named David took a small smooth stone and defeated a nine foot tall Goliath with it. (1 Samuel 17).
A poor widow told the Prophet Elisha she had only a small flask of olive oil. Elisha told her to “borrow as many empty jars as you can from your neighbors and friends, then pour from that flask until you run out of jars”. She filled jars until she ran out – and God multiplied her handful of flour through years of famine (2 Kings 4).
Jesus took five barley loaves and two little fishes and multiplied it to feed five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21).
God told a discouraged Zerubbabel as he led a small force to rebuild a destroyed Jerusalem:
Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice …
God uses the humble, and builds His Kingdom through His few faithful followers.
The Kingdom Of God Comes By Planting A Small Seed.
Mark 4:30-31 (KJV) Jesus said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
God Could Have Brought His Kingdom In With Majesty And Power. He could have sent angels, fierce fighters, and heralded His Kingdom with bloodshed and the sound of fury. There will be a day when Christ comes to finish His Kingdom, a day when He returns with His Church to set up His headquarters in Jerusalem. The Bible says of that day that:
Revelation 1:7 (KJV) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 19:11-21 (KJV) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
There is coming a day when Jesus will return to sit on His Throne. What a terrible day that will be. The Bible calls that day “the Day of the Lord”, a time of retribution and bloodshed and forced repentance. That day is coming. Jesus is coming again. See that you are faithful –
Doing the righteous thing
Speaking the righteous word
Living and loving as He calls us to be
The Day of the Lord has not yet come, but the Kingdom of God has come. The Kingdom of God started with a man discounted, the Lord Jesus Christ. He told His disciples that the Kingdom of God – like the mustard seed – was to be sown. The Gospel of the Kingdom is to be shared by every citizen of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom Of God Grows As The Gospel Is Shared Heart To Heart
Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God. In fact, His enemies – the Pharisees – heard Jesus preach so much about the “Kingdom of God” that they questioned Him:
Luke 17:20-21 (KJV) And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The Kingdom of God is within you. It is within each person that the Gospel seed has been shared. We who love Jesus are of His Kingdom, and He is our King. Do not equate God’s Kingdom with the physical things of this world. Some people – Church Hoppers – pop by this Church and look at the facilities. “Why you’ve got a pretty Church – but we wish you had a child care center and a coffee bar. If you had bigger facilities we might consider joining. But your Church building just doesn’t fit our idea of what a Church should be?”
Now I want us to build a Church building, a bigger building, but I understand and you need to understand that the bigger building does not make a bigger Church. I have been to structurally bigger Churches that should have had Frigidaire or Kenmore written on the door. There was none of the love of God in that place. The command of Christ and the mark of the Church has been and will always be:
Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV) … Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The Kingdom of God begins with the small seed of Grace planted in the ground of the heart. The knowledge that God loves you, and gave Himself for you. God saw that we were broken, and in need of salvation. God loved us in spite of ourselves. So what did God do? He came as a small child – an insignificant baby in the eyes of the world. A baby in a manger. There is no room for You in the Inn, but you can stay in the basement where the animals are normally tended. You can stay where the lambs sleep, Thou Lamb of God. The world saw an unlucky couple who came late to the Inn, but the Angel of God said:
Matthew 1:21 (KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.
Who does Jesus save? His people. What does He save them from? Their sins. He gave Himself for my sins. He died in my place. He gave me Grace, and wants me to share that same Grace with others. The Bible says:
Galatians 1:4 (KJV) Jesus gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
1 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) Jesus gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Titus 2:14 (KJV) Jesus gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Jesus gave Himself for us. He died for our sins. He paid our penalty, and took our hell upon Himself. He suffered as no one has ever suffered, so that we could be saved.
Where The Gospel Is Planted, The Kingdom Of God Grows
Mark 4:32 (KJV) But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
Look at the first few words of this verse. “WHEN it is sown”. It doesn’t say “IF it is sown” but “WHEN it is sown”. Jesus came preaching the Gospel, but commands us all to do the same. We are to sow His seed. Once it is sown it grows up and becomes greater than all other herbs.
We MUST Share His Gospel To See His Kingdom Grow. Jesus said in this context:
Mark 4:21-25 (KJV) And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?  For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.  If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.  And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: WITH WHAT MEASURE YE METE, IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU: AND UNTO YOU THAT HEAR SHALL MORE BE GIVEN.  For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
God gave us tongues not to gossip or to be hateful, but to speak His Word. God gave us hands to do good even to our enemies so that they might see the glorious Gospel of love at work. God gave us feet to go to others, to help lift up the downtrodden in the name of Christ. Citizens of the Kingdom do not hide their light but live for Christ. We let our light shine for Him.
Those who are born again and loved of God love God and love one another. We shine because He shines in us. We encourage one another to look to Jesus, to follow Jesus, to love as Jesus loved and do as Jesus did.
One of my favorite stories in the Scripture is in this chapter. It comes right after the parable of the Mustard Seed. The Bible tells us:
Mark 4:35 (KJV) And the same day, when the even was come, Jesus saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
Jesus had been preaching all day long standing on a ship on the water of the Sea of Galilee. As He finished preaching His Kingdom message He told His disciples – those who were on the ship with Him – “Let US pass over to the other side”. We’re going to take a journey. I want you to notice that Jesus didn’t tell them exactly where they were going, nor why they were going there. But that didn’t matter. The King of the Kingdom said “Let US pass over to the other side”. He was going with them. They got on the ship with Him, and He was with them all the way. The Bible says:
Mark 4:36 (KJV) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
They sent away the multitude. These people came to hear Jesus, but they weren’t on the ship with Jesus. There were also other little ships with Him, but they weren’t on the ship with Jesus. There will always be those who half commit or give Jesus a hearing, but who are not on the ship with Him. They can’t go the other side with Jesus. A half commitment is the same as no commitment at all. The multitude is sent away. The crowd departs. The little ships – under their own steam – try to follow Jesus.
Mark 4:37-38 (KJV) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow ….
Jesus told them “Let US pass over to the other side”. In the midst of the storms of life each one on that ship – in that little Church – should have encouraged one another. Look, Jesus is asleep in the midst of this storm. He rests. He is with us, so we will rest with Him. No matter what life may toss at us if you are in the ship with the King of Kings then you are as safe in the storm as you are in your own bathtub! If Jesus is with you then He will get you to the other side.
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Jesus is with us. He is our King, and His Kingdom is without end. He gave Himself for us. He is on the ship with us. We need not fear. He hath said “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Jesus Christ is not the Author of confusion nor of fear, but He is ..
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) …. Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Mark 4:38 (KJV) …. Jesus was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
Of course He cares. They will not perish unless Christ perish with them. But the Bible tells us:
Mark 4:39-40 (KJV) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
They heard Jesus preach the Kingdom of God, but still did not know Him. This is why we gather and hear His Word. You are saved the day the Gospel seed finds good soil, but we grow to know Him. Faith and fear do not belong in the same vessel. We are Children of the King. He is with us. The wind and the sea obeys Him. The Angels bow down to Him. The Father calls Him “Beloved Son”, and the Spirit comes to us at His call.
If you are in His Kingdom. If you are on the Ship with Him.
May God touch your hearts with His Word.