What’s all this talk about the Kingdom of God, kingdom living, and kingdom principles? Funny, that’s the same question Jesus posed to a large crowd that had gathered to hear Him (Mark 4:30). After telling a story, a parable, and explaining it privately to His disciples, Jesus encouraged the people to be good listeners. This was important because the seed of God’s Word was being planted in their hearts to help themselves and others: kingdom principles. If that wasn’t enough, He also taught that as you continue living in the Kingdom of God and operating in His principles, your fruit will increase. The parable of the mustard seed shows us this kingdom principle.
Here’s a few pointers regarding parables. First, read it from beginning to end and concentrate on the ending. A parable usually has a ‘kicker’ there: a main point. It’ll give you a snapshot of what lesson Jesus is teaching and it usually comes at the end. Next, a parable is a story, not an allegory. In other words, not every detail has symbolic meaning. When you try to treat them as allegories, you get all mixed up and then nothing makes sense. Allegories are fantasy stories (like Pilgrim’s Progress or Hind’s Feet in High Places) and parables are real life. Allegories usually have symbolic meaning to every detail and parables tell a relatively simple story using everyday life.
Jesus seemed to be thinking out loud in Mark 4:30 when He asked a couple questions to stimulate His disciples’ thinking. Hmmm, what’s the Kingdom of God like (Luke 13:18)? What’s a good comparison? I know, it’s like the smallest seed on earth, that grows into a large tree with large branches, and gives much shade. Yeah, that’s good Jesus. But what does it mean?
Jesus took them aside, again, and explained everything as they were able to hear (vs. 33). What’s the kicker at the end? How about this? You read your Bible, listen to good preaching, and watch the fruit grow; it’s seed planted in good soil and growing even if you don’t recognize it. Others will. You may find God directing people for you to encourage, pray for, and enlighten; yes, God is preparing you to help others.
The birds of the air are those people. They come to you because they trust you; your life reflects God. You are different: you act different, you think different, and you talk different. It shows. God will trust you with divine appointments so you can help people build their nests, so to speak, and find a safe place in Him. That’s living in the Kingdom of God.
I pose this question for you today. How much time are you devoting to God in your day? How often do you open the Word of God and reflect on Jesus? Do your own comparison. Are you satisfied or convicted? Are you able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit today drawing you back into His presence?