In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus tells another parable to help us understand some qualities of the nature of the Kingdom of God. This is about a mustard seed. It says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” The point of the parable is as Chouinard says in the College Press NIV Commentary, “One would not naturally expect that from a tiny mustard seed would come a tree-like shrub attaining a height of ten to twelve feet, suitable for even birds to find a resting place. Yet, this remarkable natural phenomenon has its spiritual counterpart in the kingdom of God.”

First, from the small beginnings of Jesus and His 12 apostles grew a church of millions and millions around the entire world. F. F. Bruce, in his commentary on the Book of Acts, explains how this minor movement from a small outpost of the vast Roman Empire, grew into a world influence that still has room for more to roost yet today. This is the case of things that are of God. From the beginnings of His creation God brought forth Adam and Eve. Just two people, created in His image, were sent forth to populate the earth. Today there are nearly 7 billion people all descendants of just these two people. It is still growing today and so is the Kingdom of God. With each new soul who professes faith in Jesus Christ the church expands into an unimaginable tree. It’s the natural order of things that God creates.

Further, I’d argue that we see a clear growth process involved in the life of each individual Christian as well. It’s the natural order of things. Spence writes, “The Christian life should be one of progress, and it will be if it is healthy. Growth is a law of life, and it is a law that applies to the Divine life in the soul. The healthy Christian will grow in grace; his knowledge will expand; his spirituality will deepen; his capacity for service will widen; his enjoyment of the blessedness of the vision of God will become richer and more intense.” The interesting thing to me is that God is not done with me yet. Although I’ve long passed the point where my physical growth has ceased and I am well on my way down the physical scale of strength, my spiritual life continues to grow and flourish and will until God perfects it once and for all in His Kingdom. Spence goes on, “But there is no such decline for the spiritual life so long as it is healthy. That life knows no old age; it partakes of the unfading glory of the Eternal.”