Summary: Growth through God’s Word - The Parable of the Growing Seed. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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• This parable is actually unique!

• Its claim to fame is that only Mark in his gospel records this parable.

• Matthew, Luke & John take no notice of over it.

• And because it is short in content;

• Just 4 verses; in the N.I.V. just 80 words.

• Many a Christian has taken no notice of it;

• We tend to concentrate on the more popular parables contained in this chapter.


• Now Jesus did not invent parabolic teaching;

• There are plenty of parables in the Old Testament.

• And to teach using parables;

• Was a common form of instructing amongst Jewish Rabbi’s.


• Parable means, ‘Alongside’.

• i.e. ‘Para’ is a Greek prefix and means ‘alongside’;

• e.g. parachute – parallel bars – parallel lines - paramedic.

• Parable – an everyday story;

• And alongside that everyday story there is a deeper hidden meaning.

• This parable in Mark’s gospel;

• Is about sowing seed and harvesting.


Things I have learnt from gardening:

• Nothing ever looks like it does on the seed packet.

• Your lawn is always slightly bigger than your desire to mow it.

• Whichever garden tool you want is always at the back of the shed.

• The only way to ensure rain, is to give the garden a good soaking.

• Weeds grow at precisely the rate you pull them out.

• Autumn follows summer, winter follows autumn, drought follows planting.

• Evergreens go a funny shade of brown in the winter.

• The only way to guarantee some colour all year round is to buy a garden gnome.

• However bare the lawn, grass will appear in the cracks between the patio paving stones.

• "Annuals" mean disappointment once a year.

• When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.


• Our passage this morning has to do with planting seeds.

• And reaping a harvest.

• Whether you plant seeds as an amateur gardener on your own patch of land;

• Or you do it commercially to make a living - the principles are the same.

(1). What is the seed?

Answer: if we connect this parable with the others surrounding it

• Remember, in verse 14,

• Jesus told us that the “seed” was the Word of God.

• And from the teaching sheet your leaders gave me that is how they understand it;

• Quote: “How the Word of God grows in us”.

Note: A few thoughts regarding ‘seed’:

(a). A seed is alive: it contains life.

• Our physical senses are incapable of judging whether a seed is alive or not.

• We cannot see, feel, hear, smell, or taste the life in a seed.

• There is only one way to prove a seed is alive - plant it.

• Then wait and see the various stages of life;

• i.e. Germination, emergence, growth, flowering!

(b). A seed does nothing until planted.

• Seeds do not grow in the packet;

• Seeds do not grow on the shelf of your shed.

• Seeds do not grow by you reading gardening books or watching gardening programmes;

• They must be planted in the proper place.


• The National Geographic website reported;

• That the oldest plant ever to be regenerated has been grown from 32,000-year-old seeds.

• It is a plant native to Siberia, (Silene stenophylla),

• That had probably been buried by an Ice Age squirrel near the banks of the Kolyma River.

(c). A seed is much smaller than the plant it produces.

• ill: Mustard seed may be a very tiny seed;

• The plant that comes from that seed reaches a height of 10-12 feet in a few weeks;

• ill: The problems you may be facing in life may seem huge.

• In comparison, a sermon or a scripture quotation may seem very small.

• But actually when planted,

• That Word will grow in you and help you to overcome or work through the problem.

(d. A seed always produces after its kind.

• ill: If you plant sunflower seeds then expect sunflowers!

• If you plant corn seeds then expect to grow corn!

• ill: What’s true physically is also true spiritually:

• Galatians chapter 6 verse 7: “…for whatever a person sows, that also will they reap”.

• Quote: “Too many Christians are planted the wrong seeds and then praying for a crop failure!”

Quote: Clyde Francis Lytle

• “Unless we know the difference between flowers and weeds,

• We are not fit to take care of a garden.

• It is not enough to have truth planted in our minds.

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