Q. I’ve read many postings on your site and appreciate them greatly. But I’m surprised at your interpretation of the Mustard Seed Parable. There are different “birds” mentioned in the various passages of the Bible; the little birds is akin to sparrows–you will find that God uses the sparrows to indicate His care for us both in the NT and in Psalms. David writes of them finding “rest” in the courts of the temple–as he refers to the godly finding rest in the Lords Temple. I’m surprised that this common interpretation is quickly accepted, without folks discriminating between the various types of birds: little birds and predators.
A. In parables, everything is symbolic because the purpose of a parable is to use earthly things to explain heavenly truths. The key to interpretation is to understand the symbolism, and the Bible provides all the clues. Therefore Lord’s reference to birds can not be thought of as literal birds, and as He explained in His interpretation of the first parable, the birds represent the Evil One (Matt. 13:19). The mustard tree represents the church, and it has grown into something it was never intended to be. (Mustard plants become small bushes at best, and birds don’t nest in them.) The Church has grown into such a huge bureaucracy that even the ministers of Satan can find a home there.