The mustard seed is but a small seed, but we can learn important lessons from it. In fact, even the Lord Jesus made mention of the mustard seed to His disciples to teach them some things.
First, in Matthew 17:20-21, we read Him saying, "You don't have enough faith ... I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."
Then, in Luke 17:6, He said, "If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you!"
Apparently, the mustard seed can teach us things. Here are three takeaways we can get from a small, unassuming mustard seed.
1. Even just a small amount of faith makes us do great things
Seriously, if all men and women of faith waited on God to build their faith before doing anything, many things wouldn't have happened! Think about it: Paul became a missionary to the Gentiles even if he considers himself "the least among many." Peter was a simple fisherman who led the early church. They didn't brag about having big faith. They simply obeyed God.
2. Genuine faith is contagious
Mustard seeds rapidly germinate, taking only three to 10 days when placed in favourable conditions. Possessing a fast-growing and quick-spreading nature, mustard has been noted as one that has "dangerous takeover properties."
In one historical book written around 78 AD, the writer notes that once mustard has been sown "it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once."
In the same way, genuine faith quickly spreads. When a person truly meets the Lord Jesus and is truly born-again, that person will find it hard not to talk about the goodness of God. And when the goodness of God has been planted into a person's consciousness, that person will never be able to deny it.
3. A growing faith allows us to serve God in many ways
Mustard seeds, when grown, turn into mustard plants that have a variety of uses. The seeds can be made into the famous condiment for sandwiches; while the edible leaves can be consumed as salad greens. Mustard oil, which can be acquired by pressing the plant, can be used as fuel.
How does this apply to us? Our faith, when matured, allows us to do many things for the Lord. In fact, it would be easier for us to trust and obey God as compared to when we were young in Him and unsure of what He has equipped us to do.
Think about it: When you know who you are in Christ and have grown into that identity, you'll be able to do more than you can imagine now. When this time comes, you can simply say "I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength"! (Philippians 4:13)