Luke 13:19
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
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13:18-22 Here is the progress of the gospel foretold in two parables, as in Mt 13. The kingdom of the Messiah is the kingdom of God. May grace grow in our hearts; may our faith and love grow exceedingly, so as to give undoubted evidence of their reality. May the example of God's saints be blessed to those among whom they live; and may his grace flow from heart to heart, until the little one becomes a thousand.See these parables explained in the notes at Matthew 13:31-32. Lu 13:18-30. Miscellaneous Teachings.

18-21. mustard seed … leaven—(See on [1657]Mr 4:30-32). The parable of "the Leaven" sets forth, perhaps, rather the inward growth of the kingdom, while "the Mustard Seed" seems to point chiefly to the outward. It being a woman's work to knead, it seems a refinement to say that "the woman" here represents the Church, as the instrument of depositing the leaven. Nor does it yield much satisfaction to understand the "three measures of meal" of that threefold division of our nature into "spirit, soul, and body," (alluded to in 1Th 5:23) or of the threefold partition of the world among the three sons of Noah (Ge 10:32), as some do. It yields more real satisfaction to see in this brief parable just the all-penetrating and assimilating quality of the Gospel, by virtue of which it will yet mould all institutions and tribes of men, and exhibit over the whole earth one "Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ." (See on [1658]Re 11:15).

See Poole on "Luke 13:18"

It is like a grain of mustard seed,.... Both for its smallness at first, and its after increase; wherefore both the Evangelists Matthew and Mark observe, that it "is the least of all seed": which is true of the ministry of the Gospel, of the Gospel church state, and of the grace of God in the hearts of his people:

which a man took and cast into his garden; the Ethiopic version renders it, "and sowed in his field", as in Matthew 13:31 though mustard used to be sowed in gardens as well as in fields. (x) Says R. Simeon ben Chelphetha, I have one stalk of mustard seed, , "in my garden": so (y) Buxtorf translates it. And by the place in the text, where this seed is cast, may be meant, either the "field" of the world, where the Gospel is preached, and churches are raised; or the "garden" of the church, where the word and ordinances are administered, and in the hearts of the members of it, the grace of God is implanted and increased; see Sol 4:12

and it grew and waxed a great tree, which may design the spread of the Gospel in the world, the flourishing state of the church of Christ, and the growth of grace in the hearts of believers.

And the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it; the Syriac version reads in the singular number, "the fowl of the air"; not Satan, and his principalities and powers, which devour the seed sown by the wayside; nor the angels of heaven; but rather gracious men on earth, who sit under the shadow of a Gospel ministry with great delight; and "make their nests", as the Persic version here renders the words, and take up their residence in Gospel churches; See Gill on Matthew 13:31, Matthew 13:32, Mark 4:31, Mark 4:32.

(x) T. Hieros. Peah, fol 20. 2.((y) Lex. Talmud. col. 823.

{5} It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

(5) God begins his kingdom with small beginnings so that its growth, which is not looked for, may better set forth his power.

Luke 13:19. κῆπον, garden, more exact indication of place than in Mt. and Mk.—δένδρον, a tree; an exaggeration, it remains an herb, though of unusually large size.

19. waxed a great tree] Omit great with א, B, D, L, &c. The points of comparison are the sudden, secret growth, and the immense development of the kingdom of God. The mustard seed was colloquially spoken of by the Jews as ‘the smallest of all seeds,’ and it grew into a herbaceous plant, as tall as a horse and his rider (Thomson, Land and Book).

the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of if] The substantive corresponding to the verb ‘lodged’ is found in Luke 9:58 (‘nests,’ rather shelters). Finches, and other small birds, throng the mustard beds to live on the seed (Tristram, Nat. Hist. Bib. 473).

Luke 13:19. Κῆπον, garden) which is enclosed. Comp. in connection with the same thought, hid (ἐνέκρυψεν), Luke 13:21.—[καὶ ηὔξησε, and it grew) You have instances in point in Luke 13:13; Luke 13:17.—V. g.]

Verse 19. - It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. The simile was a well-known one in the Jewish world. "As small as a grain of mustard seed" was a proverb current among the people in those days. In Eastern countries this little seed often becomes a tree, and stories are even told of mustard trees so tall that a man could climb up into their branches or ride beneath them on horseback. Such instances are possibly very rare, but it is a common sight to see a mustard plant, raised from one of these minute grains, grown to the height of a fruit tree, putting forth branches on which birds build their nests. It was with sorrowful irony that the great Teacher compared the kingdom of God in those days to this small grain. The kingdom of God on earth then was composed of Jesus and his few wavering followers. To the eye of sense it seemed impossible that this little movement could ever stir the world, could ever become a society of mighty dimensions, "See," said the Master, taking up a little mustard seed; "does this seem as though it would ever become a tree with spreading branches on which the birds might rest? The kingdom of God is like this seed." Luke 13:19His garden

Properly, as Rev., his own (ἑαυτοῦ) where he could personally observe and tend it.

Great tree

The best texts omit great.


See on Luke 9:58.

Branches (κλάδοις)

See on Mark 11:8.

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