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Discovery Magazine 1/1/2002

How do they make mustard?

by  Digger Doug

Dear Digger Doug,

How do they make mustard?—Luke Ayers, age 7, Taylor, TX.

Dear Luke,

Some of us love it, some of us hate it, and moms who wash their children’s clothes are scared to death of the stains it leaves—mustard. It’s a slimy substance that not only adds color to hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken strips, but also adds a unique taste. So how do they make the stuff?    

Maybe you remember the parable Jesus told about mustard. He said that the Kingdom of God (which is the Church) was like a mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32). That should give you a little hint about how mustard is made. It starts out as a tiny seed that is taken from a large plant. Many thousands of these seeds are collected and crushed into a fine powder. Sometimes the powder is sold by itself for special cooking in soups or other spicy dishes. Other times some type of liquid such as water or vinegar is added to the powder—this is probably the kind that you put on your hamburgers and hotdogs.

People have been using mustard for thousands of years. In fact, today there is a museum in Wisconsin known as the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. It contains the world’s largest collection of mustards—more than 3,700 different kinds. Obviously, you are not alone if you like mustard.

But what did Jesus mean when He said the Kingdom of God was like a mustard seed? He meant that even though the Church might look small to some people, it can and will grow into a huge kingdom that accomplishes great things, just like the tiny mustard seed grows into a huge plant. You might be small now, but if you obey the Lord, just think of the great things He can accomplish through you.

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