Summary: Just as the purpose of seeds is not to store them but to spread them and the purpose of silos is not to fill them but to empty them; so it is with the Good News of the Kingdom.
SILOS & SEEDS: KEEPING THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING
Mark 7:31-37 (5:18-20)
Sermon #4 from “Life on the Farm”
Sermon Objective: Just as the purpose of seeds is not to store them but to spread them and the purpose of silos is not to fill them but to empty them; so it is with the Good News of the Kingdom.
We will conclude our sermon series today from Mark’s Gospel. We called it “Life on the Farm.” It has focused on some of the basics of the Christian faith; specifically, some of those non-negotiables that define Biblical Christianity.
• Our first sermon was from Mark 6:6-12 and was titled “Putting Up Hay.” Kingdom work, like putting up hay, is daunting, but doable, and accomplished most effectively through teamwork.
• Our second sermon was from Mark 6:30-44 and was titled “The Paradox of Manure.” We often see manure as waste but it is filled with untapped potential. In a similar way it is life’s inconveniences and discomforts that produce the greatest opportunities for grace!
• Last week we looked at Mark 7:1-23. The sermon was titled “Weeds, Water, and Insects.” We discovered that just as there are natural enemies for the crop farmer so citizens of the Kingdom must also beware and be aware of our spiritual enemies.
• Today we will look at Mark 7:31-37 … “Seeds and Silos.”
I mentioned to you last week that my ministry in Southern Illinois introduced me to a new way of farming. Crop farming. In Oklahoma and Texas there are silos but nothing like there is in Illinois! In Oklahoma and Texas are more livestock barns and hay barns. In Illinois there are silos everywhere.
I quickly learned that these constructs were not just a new form of architecture … they were a tool of the trade. They served an important purpose. They are storage for seed and feed. For commercial crop farmers grain is placed in silos (some as tall as 90 feet high) and from the silos it is unloaded into into rail cars, trucks or conveyors where the crop is taken to market or to the mills.
Farmers take care of their silos and they don’t take them for granted either. Without the silo much of their yield could be lost or they’d have to pay someone else to store it for them.
Silos are important. But they are not an end in themselves. A farmer is not itching to build new silos just to have more silos. The reason the silo is important is because of what it represents … seeds! Grain! And the reason the grain is important is because of what it represents … harvest, money, more planting for more crops in a never-ending cycle!
Keep that in mind as we read Mark 7:31-37.
I think that, in order to understand what is happening in this story, we need to go back to another time in the ministry of Jesus. We need some background. We don’t know how long ago it was, maybe a year or two. But we read about an interesting and related event in Mark 5:18-20. Let’s read the ending of another miracle story … the one where Jesus delivered a man with demons.
18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20So the man went away and BEGAN TO TELL IN THE DECAPOLIS HOW MUCH JESUS HAD DONE FOR HIM. AND ALL THE PEOPLE WERE AMAZED.
Mk 7:31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.
Mk 7:32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.
Mk 7:33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.
Mk 7:34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”).
Mk 7:35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
Mk 7:36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.
Mk 7:37 PEOPLE WERE OVERWHELMED WITH AMAZEMENT. “HE HAS DONE EVERYTHING WELL,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Did you catch the connection? What you may be looking at here is the first successful Gentile missionary enterprise in the New Testament.