The tallest trees in the world, the California redwoods, have tiny seeds. Each seed is about 1/8” wide. The tallest of these living trees currently measures about 377 feet tall. That’s longer than a vertical football field, including the end zones, one goal post hovering 360 feet above the other on the ground, and still more tree above that. That’s a very tall tree. Once one of those tiny seeds takes root, the tree can live for possibly 2000 years.
Which means the oldest of these trees could have been sprouting right around the time Jesus was telling these parables about the kingdom of heaven, including the parable of the mustard seed.
It’s an enticing thought to think of Jesus, the Middle Eastern Jew, blowing the minds of his listeners by saying that the kingdom of heaven is like a tiny seed on the other side of the world, now just a sprout, that will one day, millennia from now, grow to be the largest tree in the world.
Jesus did have the famous cedars of Lebanon as next door neighbors. The prophet Ezekiel had used these trees to illustrate how Israel would regrow after being...