Summary: Sometimes it seems that the time it takes to get our prayers answered is much longer than we anticipated. So we begin to faint in our minds. This message is about not giving up when you are not seeing the results.
Mark 4:26-28 is a continuation of Jesus’ teaching about the sower who sows the word.
(26) And he (Jesus) said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
(27) And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
The man knows that the only thing he has done is put the seed in the ground. He has done what he needed to do to cultivate the seed. But he does not know what makes the seed grow.
(28) For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
What we see ladies and gentlemen is time and I want you to notice something. We know that the time for every ear is going to be different. Here’s my point: if you understand that if you do what’s necessary for the seed to grow, eventually the seed you plant will grow and produce fruit and you will see a harvest. You are going to see the harvest. That’s what the Word of God says. If you do what you’re supposed to do with the seed you—are—going—to—see—the –harvest! It’s a guarantee.
But sometimes what happens with us, and we know from the parable that the seed is God’s Word. So the seed that we plant is speaking God’s Word. That’s how we plant it. What happens with us sometimes: we faint. We give up because we don’t understand the process. We don’t understand that if we keep doing what we are supposed to do – speak God’s Word – the seed is going to produce a harvest.
But oftentimes we have a hard time going from planting the seed and waiting for the harvest. If it were up to us we’d plant the seed on Monday, harvest it on Wednesday and be sitting down at the table eating it on Thursday. It doesn’t work that way folks. Every seed produces fruit at its own rate.
So what happens when we take care of the seed? Go back up to verse 3. “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow;” [Now go to verse 14] “The sower soweth the word.” [Now look at verse 20, part of Jesus’ explanation of the parable.] “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”
When Jesus says you hear it and you receive it that means you’re doing something with it so that it can produce fruit. But there’s more to it.
Look in Matthew 13. We’re going to read one verse but it’s talking about the same subject – the sower sowing the Word. We’re going to look at verse 23: “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, [Now Matthew adds something that we have read before.] and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Notice that Jesus says the person on good ground understands the Word. This word “understandeth” means “to put together, to assimilate.” In Isaiah 28:9-11, he asks how we gain knowledge. And he says you get knowledge by precept being applied upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.
What Isaiah is talking about is that you don’t read the Bible in a vacuum. You read the Word of God in its totality so that you can begin to understand how all the puzzle pieces fit.
When Matthew says you understand it, he’s saying you have assimilated the Word. You just didn’t get up and read your daily devotional. You actually put your eyes on the Word and you didn’t say “I’m going to read chapter one today, chapter two tomorrow” and so on. No, you are doing Second Timothy 2:15. You are studying the Bible. You are a “student” of the Word.
And that’s one of the things missing in the Body of Christ today ladies and gentlemen. Many read the Word but don’t understand its message. They are not leaving it in context. Verses are lifted out of context and used to say something they don’t really say.
Let me give you an example: Luke 6:38. It says “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”