Episode 089 – Parable of the Mustard Seed: God Is At Work

Despite what we may think, many people didn’t believe Jesus’s ministry was all that impressive. In fact, they questioned whether or not God’s kingdom was really advancing through him. In response, Jesus told a parable about a mustard seed. Even though its incredibly small, its capacity for growth is massive. Jesus challenged his audience to recognize that even though things may not be unfolding the way we think, that doesn’t mean God isn’t at work. Quite the opposite. And what may appear to be small and seemingly insignificant may be germinating into something substantial. 

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching? 
  • Why do you think people were questioning whether or not the kingdom was really advancing through the ministry of Jesus? 
  • In what ways does it feel like that God’s kingdom isn’t advancing here on earth (or perhaps through your life)? 
  • What activities are you currently involved in that feel small and seemingly insignificant? How do the truths of this teaching encourage you or challenge you to think differently about those things? 
  • Where may God be challenging you to have a mustard seed like faith? 
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week? 

For Further Study


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  1. Thank you for the helpful comparison among the gospel versions … and the striking contrast between the seed and the tree. The potent comparison and contrast deepened my understanding of what God is doing now.

  2. Dear Brad,
    The scientific educated persons who brought the first Japnese beetles, African bees, and non indegidous plants, promised as you did, yet here we are.
    Later in life when you move others might not be as careful as you about the jars of sand/dirt and they break or someone sees just dirt and dumps them!
    Now what is hiding in the dirt that could wreck agriculture or animals here in America? Is your passion gonna potentionaly destroy parts of America. You know that Purple weed growing all over Holland, Mi. taking over natural indegious plants where here in Michigan a bug has to be brought in to eat the panlts to control its growth?
    Sand and dirt from other countries need to be cooked to kill living things that can only be seen by microscopes.
    Perhaps one needs to look into this further.
    Enjoy your revelations.

  3. Good morning, Brad. This parable about the mustard seed in modern day life is so evident by the story of Nathaniel Kuck, a special needs child whose life has impacted God’s Kingdom like wildfire! Nathaniel’s Hope was founded with God’s purpose for Nathaniel’s short sweet life to have an impact on others and has and is growing internationally offering God’s love, hope, encouragement and compassion to those in need.
    Nathaniel’s Story

  4. Loved you teaching today. Bless God. Sometimes I feel small and not doing anything important for the kingdom and your words brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Thank you Brad. Interesting and helpful insights and encouragement again. I loved telling this parable in children’s worship it was in a gold box like all the parables to differentiate it as a different type of story. We rolled out string that was very long to show big it grew. Then each had at least one little bird to put in the branches of the felt tree i had unrolled. That part became so meaningful to me as we all perched in the kingdom together.

  6. Brad, thank you for your faithfulness in sharing God’s Word in its context and the implications for how we live life today. I used this episode just an hour ago as my wife left to go participate on a panel of moms who had home schooled their kids, hopefully to encourage other parents who are currently in the throes of home schooling. She felt unworthy to share anything of value simply because she was more “loosey-goosey” and unstructured than other home-school moms and also because she reached a point where she was “over it” with our son. She continued to teach our daughters, but we enrolled him in school. I was able to use God’s Word through this teaching to encourage her, reminding her of how God has worked beautifully in each of our children’s lives and how He is using what she did years ago, at the time seemingly insignificant, to grow into something absolutely beautiful. What a great reminder of our amazing Heavenly Father Who is always at work in the garden of our souls.

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