Jesus spoke figuratively in parables; making use of an ordinary style of discourse yet always profound and prophetic. In Mathew 13:31 – 33 we read of two parables, which essentially mean the same thing: The parable of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven encourage us to never turn away or be reluctant to count ourselves among the people of faith because of the churches meager beginnings in a smaller part of the world in which it’s founding members included a few fisherman and a tax collector whom as we know were the more common in society. And maybe even more critical to our faith we must always refrain from being cynical or ridicule the humble and simple nature of the teachings of the gospel.
Jesus spoke to the disciples that the Kingdom of Heaven is like 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 becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Jesus spoke another parable to them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
As we look at these parables today we could say that the church started out small and ended up big. It is unlikely that the disciples fully understood the magnitude of the growth and maturity of the church which today number in the billions world-wide. In whom some might deem that many would be the people of faith in name only. Yet the discerning know that the sincere remnant are many that fill up the whole-world; for we should never form a judgment of the people of faith on moral and philosophical virtues alone, but understand that genuine people of faith should be acknowledged by the fruits of sincerity, humility, and faith. In which all of these fruits are exhibited in their love for God and others.
There are no people on earth that have more to offer the world than the people faith; for sincerity, humility, faith, and love shelter the world’s citizenry much more than money, prestige, and power. In the parable, the mustard seed grew into a bush to shelter and protect the birds. On the side of my house in Rochester Hills Michigan, we have a fairly full and large bush. When I come out of my garage it startles the birds. It looks like a hundred birds dart out yet mostly they rest in safety in the hidden places in the bush not unlike the the people of faith who are hidden in the fullness of grace and love in the whole church on earth.