Matthew 13:32- "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: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."
I've heard a number of commentaries saying that the birds of the air are emissaries of Satan because in the parable of the sower they come and take away the seed of the gospel. Therefore in this parable the meaning is that the birds are the invaders from Satan, making their home in the visible church.
I think this is a terrible interpretation.
It seems to me that Jesus is giving a reference to Ezekiel 17:22-24- "Thus says the Lord GOD: "I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it."
The question then, is Jesus making a reference to the OT passage which would then flesh out His idea more fully, namely that He has taken the weak and smallest thing and made it to grow and thrive, or is His point to explain this tender gardening reference as a message of the power of the Gospel?
I don't know, but it seems that these are two verses that are very very similar and belong together.
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