I try my best not to question the Word, but often I come across imagery that just doesn’t translate into something meaningful to me. That is, until I take a deeper look.
One example of this is when Yeshua compares our faith and the Kingdom of YeHoVaH to a mustard seed. I get it — it’s small and grows into something big. Yet, I am quite sure there are smaller seeds and bigger plants or trees that could have painted this picture just as effectively, if not better.
But, what if that wasn’t the only message that Yeshua was trying to get across?
Let’s start with the metaphor where the parable of the mustard seed is first used. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Yeshua likens the Kingdom of YeHoVaH to the mustard plant.
“And He said, “To what shall we compare the reign of Elohim? Or with what parable shall we present it? Like a mustard seed, which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth, and when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all plants, and forms large branches, so that the birds of the heaven are able to nest under its shade.”
– Mark 4:30-32 (ISR)
What exactly did Yeshua imply by “greater”? I have a feeling that it does not suffice to say size alone.
Mustard is an herb. While it is quite large compared to other herbs, what is so special about it is how densely it grows. Wild mustard spreads quickly, densely covering the surrounding area. Due to this trait of the plant, it greatly suppresses weeds from growing.
This was HUGE to me! So often the Scriptures refer to the harvest of the wheat and tares. This imagery reveals to us that the Kingdom of the Almighty has the power to suppress the growth of the tares! It is the Kingdom above all kingdoms. Praise Yah!
The mustard seed is also likened to faith.
“And Yeshua said to them, Because of your unbelief, for truly, I say to you, if you have belief as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move. And no matter shall be impossible for you.”
– Matthew 17:20 (ISR)
When we look at the characteristics of the mustard plant, there are a few details that can be pondered on:
- Germination takes place in the cool season.
- It flourishes in fertile soil, and grows rapidly.
- Within 4-5 weeks, the plant covers the ground.
The teacher in me loves homework, so I will leave it to you to dig deeper into these and see what connections YeHoVaH reveals to you.
My final point is the most impactful of all.
I felt a yearning to research the Hebrew word for mustard, which is חרדל. Each Hebrew letter has a picture associated with it, stemming from the ancient Paleo-Hebrew alephbet. Here is the breakdown:
- Chet (ח) – Fence/Inner Room
- Reysh (ר) – Head/Person
- Dalet (ד) – Pathway/Door
- Lamed (ל) – Authority/Shepherd Staff
So, when looking at the Hebrew word pictures for the word mustard, we see that the innermost part of a person is the pathway or door to the Shepherd.
The Hebrew word for mustard literally gives a definition for faith. How awesome is that!