The Parable of the Mustard Seed

mustard seedTITLE: The Parable of the Mustard Seed

SUBJECT: Parables

PROPOSITION: The church grows through 1) Change, 2) Humility, 3) Security.

OBJECTIVE: To understand these basic principles of church growth and embrace them.


1. Read: Mark 4:30-32

2. About the Text:

1) Pecan tree illustration.

2) We know this as the parable of the mustard seed.

3) Jesus is explaining to the disciples that the kingdom of God will grow.

4) Do we want to be a part of the growth of God’s kingdom?

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: The church grows through . . .

I.   Change

1. The mustard seed doesn’t stay a seed; it changes.

2. Change is inevitable; we are always changing.

3. We are not the same congregation we were three years ago.

1) Some are not here that were here three years ago.

2) Some are here that were not here three years ago.

4. What kind of change do we face?

1) Physical change.

2) Cultural change.

3) Spiritual change.

a. Romans 12:2 – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

b. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

5. Are we going to embrace change, or resist it?

1) We don’t need to fear change.

2) God is in control – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

3) Jesus’ stability gives us the freedom to change in meaningful ways. (Hebrews 13:8).

II.  Humility

1. The mustard seed is among the least of all the other seeds – small beginnings.

1) A one-degree course change for an airplane flying 1500 miles changes the destination.

2) There is no such thing as an insignificant act of service to the Lord.

3) Acts 9:36-42 records the example of Dorcas.

2. Growth requires humility.

1) The seed is buried in the earth; it hides from the light to germinate.

2) We must put away our pride – Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride … destruction….”

3. To be humble, we must follow Jesus example.

1) Phil.2:5ff

2) John 13:14-15

4. Galatians 5:13 – “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

III. Security

1. Why do the birds come and nest in the branches of the mustard plant? Security.

2. Physical security – where we are safe from physical harm, but even if not, Rev.2:10.

3. Emotional security – where we love and trust each other (Phil.2:1-4).

4. Intellectual security – where we can ask questions and receive bible answers (Acts 17:11).

5. Security in salvation.

1) 1 John 5:13 – “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

2) Read Romans 8:31-39

3) This gives us the ability to act for Jesus knowing He will provide for us eternally.


1. The church grows through . . .

1) Change

2) Humility

3) Security

2. Invitation