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