“Small Beginnings”

“Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof”. Matthew 13:31-32

In this parable, we notice that a seed was sown, but before the seed could be sown, there was a man. Someone had to be there to do the sowing.

To do that, someone had to take the seed and deliberately, with thought and purpose, sow the seed. The planting of the seed was not by chance. It did not just happen.

In this parable, Jesus is the man. Jesus has personally sown the seed of His kingdom in the world, which is represented by the field.

Jesus has personally and deliberately planted the seed of His kingdom and began a work that we call Christianity.

Jesus tells us that the seed grew and became a mighty tree. A tree that was lofty and had prominence. A place where birds came and found safe lodging.

So, true Christianity is the only way in which people can find a true and safe place of refuge in a sinful world.

There are three aspects of true ministry found in this parable:

1. All true ministry starts with a small beginning.

In this parable, Jesus uses the mustard seed as the seed that is sown. The mustard seed, a very tiny seed, demonstrates our concept. It grows from a small beginning into a mighty tree.

Christianity began with a single man, Jesus Christ Himself.

In the midst of tremendous opposition, Jesus, a simple carpenter from the obscure villages of Nazareth and Capernaum set out alone to change the world.

“Phillip findeth Nathaniel, and saith unto him, we have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth the Son of Joseph. And Nathaniel said unto him, can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Phillip saith unto him, come and see”. John 1:45-46

As Christianity began to grow, it was through men without a high worldly position. The early followers of Jesus were not mighty men with fame or nobility. They were just common people … everyday people from some very ordinary professions.

Jesus did not look for the able … He enabled the willing!

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought (ed. note: meaning nothing) things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence”. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29


After all the miracles, the healings, the signs and the wonders that Jesus did over a three year period, doesn’t it seem that the ministry should have been tremendously large?

We are told that after the earthly ministry of Jesus ended, there were only 120 believers ready to carry the message forward into all the world!

This ministry, the true ministry of the Lord, started with a small beginning.

2. All true ministry grows because of its source.
The bush in this parable grew from a tiny seed into a mighty tree. Christianity has become the greatest movement in all of history! Christianity has literally changed the face of the earth and the life of all mankind. The reason for the impact on society is not because of some intangible source or because of some happenstance. Society has been changed because of what Jesus has done to people, individually and personally.

Jesus provides rest to a person. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. Matthew 11:29

Jesus provides a person with a family. “And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother”. Matthew 12:49-50

Jesus provides a person with all the basic necessities of life. “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; or yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? Or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:25-34

Jesus Christ is the one and only true source of all ministry!

3. All true ministry encourages all those involved.
This parable should be a great encouragement to every believer. No matter how small we begin, if we continue, regardless of how little growth we see, success is inevitable because of Jesus!

“And lest us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men,especially unto them who are of the household of faith”. Galatians 6:9-10

Conclusion …
All true ministry …

  • …starts with a small beginning.
  • … grows because of Jesus.
  • … encourages all those involved to keep on keeping on.

What prevents you from serving Jesus Christ faithfully?

Maybe you are not a believer. If you are not, you can be.
Read the following scripture verses …

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:”

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9, 10, 13

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If, after you have read these verses, you would like to ask Jesus to be your Savior, pray and ask Him using the following prayer:

“Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I realize there is nothing I can do to pay for my sins. I believe that you are God’s Son who died on the cross for my sins. I believe that you were buried and you rose again and I want you to be my Savior. Forgive me for my sins and come into my life right now and be my Savior. I trust you with my whole heart. Thank you Lord Jesus”.

If you have made this decision and prayed this prayer, contact us via email at: woehome@frontiernet.net

This is the most important decision you will ever make in your life! Send us your snail mail address and name, and we will send you a booklet that explains this life changing experience!

Linda is an inspirational writer and photographer. Her writing has been published in Relate.com, Union Gospel Press, Gospel Blog, Frontline, Dollar Stretcher, Discipleship Journal - DJ Plus, At the Center magazine, Simple Joy, Cross & Quill, Hot Cars, and others. Linda's story "Stretched to My Limit" about dealing with dementia was featured in "Stolen Moments" by Elizabeth Bezant. Linda's first non-fiction book was "Homeschooling: The Modern Day One Room Schoolhouse." In it, she shares her experience as a homeschooling mom, explaining the basic principles of homeschooling for the beginner. She successfully completed her first fiction novel through Chris Baty's 2006 National Novel Writing Course (NaNoWriMo). Linda also writes inspirational articles on her Words of Encouragement Blog. Enjoy Linda's photos at Words of Encouragement Designs.