The Mustard Seed

parable_SowerThis coming Sunday’s gospel is the parable of the mustard seed. Of the three parables of seed which is sown this last is most elaborately introduced in explicit parabolic formulation: the Kingdom of God is like what happens to a grain of mustard. The mustard seed was proverbial in Jewish thinking as the smallest of all seeds. He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” (Mark 4:40-32)

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