The Mustard Seed And The Birds

Q

A popular Bible teacher teaches that there is some prophetic significance in the Kingdom Parables i.e. the mustard tree is only normally 4 ft. high and for it to hold the birds of the air was a prophecy of the church falling into Roman Catholicism and getting abnormally large and harboring pagan practices. Can you explain this teaching with a little more detail? I didn’t quite follow it for all of the parables. Thanks so much for your patience.

A

All the Kingdom parables (Matt. 13:1-52) describe the Kingdom in its Earthly phase. In His explanation of the first parable Jesus identified the birds as a symbol of Satan. Paul spoke of this in 2 Cor. 4:3-4. And a mustard seed can grow to become a large bush, but never a tree. By saying that the mustard seed grew into a tree where the birds come to perch, Jesus told us that the Kingdom in its Earthly phase would grow into a large bureaucracy, something it was never intended to be, and that ministers of Satan would be able to make a home there, a reference to teachers of false doctrine.

This was also confirmed by Paul who said that since Satan masquerades as an angel of light, (the Latin word Lucifer means “light-bearer”) we shouldn’t be surprised to find that his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. (2 Cor. 10:14-15)