Matthew 13:31
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;

King James Bible
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:

Darby Bible Translation
Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of the heavens is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;

World English Bible
He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;

Young's Literal Translation
Another simile he set before them, saying: 'The reign of the heavens is like to a grain of mustard, which a man having taken, did sow in his field,

Matthew 13:31 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

See also Mark 4:30-32. The kingdom of heavens See the notes at Matthew 3:2. It means here either piety in a renewed heart or the church. In either case the commencement is small. In the heart it is at first feeble, easily injured, and much exposed. In the church there were few at first, ignorant, unknown, and unhonored; yet soon it was to spread through the world.

Grain of mustard-seed - The plant here described was very different from that which is known among us. It was several years before it bore fruit and became properly a tree. Mustard, with us, is an annual plant: it is always small, and is properly an herb. The Hebrew writers speak of the mustard-tree as one on which they could "climb," as on a fig-tree. Its size was much owing to the climate. All plants of that nature grow much larger in a warm climate, like that of Palestine, than in colder regions. The seeds of this tree were remarkably small, so that they, with the great size of the plant, were an apt illustration of the progress of the church and of the nature of faith, Matthew 17:20.

"I have seen," says Dr. Thomson,this plant on the rich plain of Akkar as tall as the horse and his rider. It has occurred to me on former visits that the mustard-tree of the parable probably grew at this spot, or possibly at Tabiga, near Capernaum, for the water in both is somewhat similar, and so are the vegetable productions. To furnish an adequate basis for the proverb, it is necessary to suppose that a variety of it was cultivated in the time of our Saviour, which grew to an enormous size, and shot forth large branches, so that the fowls of the air could lodge in the branches of it. It may have been perennial, and have grown to a considerable tree; and there are traditions in the country of such so large that a man could climb into them; and after having seen "red pepper" bushes grow on year after year, into tall shrubs, and the "castor-bean" line the brooks about Damascus like the willows and the poplars, I can readily credit the existence of mustard-trees large enough to meet all the demands of our Lord's parable. - "The Land and the Book," vol. ii. p. 101.

Young converts often suppose they have much religion. It is not so. They are, indeed, in a new world. Their hearts glow with new affections. They have an elevation, an ecstasy of emotion, which they may not have afterward like a blind man suddenly restored to sight. The sensation is new and especially vivid, yet little is seen distinctly. His impressions are indeed more vivid and cheering than those of him who has long seen and to whom objects are familiar. In a little time, too, the young convert will see more distinctly, will judge more intelligently, will love more strongly, though not with so much "new emotion," and will be prepared to make more sacrifices for the cause of Christ.

Matthew 13:31 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Leaven
'The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and bid to three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.'--MATT. xiii. 33. How lovingly and meditatively Jesus looked upon homely life, knowing nothing of the differences, the vulgar differences, between the small and great! A poor woman, with her morsel of barm, kneading it up among three measures of meal, in some coarse earthenware pan, stands to Him as representing the whole process of His work in the world. Matthew brings
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Four Sowings and one Ripening
'The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 8. And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 6. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus visits Nazareth and is Rejected.
^A Matt. XIII. 54-58; ^B Mark VI. 1-6; ^C Luke IV. 16-31. ^b 1 And he went out from thence [from Capernaum] ; and he cometh { ^a And coming} ^b into his own country; and his disciples follow him. ^c 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up [As to this city, see pages 14 and 55. As to the early years of Jesus at Nazareth, see page 60]: ^b 2 And when the sabbath was come ^c he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. [This does not mean
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

New Teaching in Parables' - the Parables to the People by the Lake of Galilee, and those to the Disciples in Capernaum
We are once more with Jesus and His disciples by the Lake of Galilee. We love to think that it was in the early morning, when the light laid its golden shadows on the still waters, and the fresh air, untainted by man, was fragrant of earth's morning sacrifice, when no voice of human discord marred the restfulness of holy silence, nor broke the Psalm of Nature's praise. It was a spring morning too, and of such spring-time as only the East, and chiefly the Galilean Lake, knows - nor of mingled sunshine
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Cross References
Matthew 13:24
Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

Matthew 17:20
And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Mark 4:30
And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?

Luke 13:18
So He was saying, "What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it?

Luke 13:19
"It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES."

Luke 17:6
And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you.

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