Parable of the the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)

The gospel of Matthew presents many parables given by Jesus to represent the Kingdom of Heaven. The parable of the mustard seed in Chapter 13 is one of them. Jesus takes the example of a tiny seed that grows to the point of becoming the largest of the vegetable plants. Discover the meaning of this imagery.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed in the Gospel of Matthew

“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 seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”  (Matthew 13:31-32) 

Explanation of the Parable of the Mustard Seed

Like the tiny mustard seed, sown in the earth, is invisible, the Kingdom of Heaven also begins hidden. From the very beginning of life, the Lord buried a treasure in the heart of every man. Created in the image of God, man carries in his soul a tiny part of the Kingdom of God. Grace makes it possible to develop this gift to make divine life grow in each person. Gradually, spiritual life, brought by grace, makes the Kingdom of God manifest in man. The tree, symbol of life, solidity and sustainability represents this Kingdom. The sign of his accomplishment is that "the birds come and perch in its branches.”  Birds are comparable to the angels that surround people filled with God. By perching in its branches, they express the joy of the Creator who rests in the heart of those who do His will. 

To make the Kingdom of God grow in us, prayer, the sacraments, and the strength of the Holy Spirit are our sources of grace. 


Other parables of Jesus aim to clarify the mystery of what the Kingdom of God is.  Discover them all: The parable of the sower, that of the weeds, and the very short parables of the pearl, the yeast, drawing in the net, and the hidden treasure.

With Hozana, let the Kingdom of God grow in your heart

The parable of the mustard seed reminds us of the importance of making the Kingdom of God grow in us. For this, let us welcome the living Word, let us look to the sacraments to receive the grace of God. Discover the Hozana prayer communities that can help you: