Summary: So what does this parable reveal about the Kingdom of God. It describes how the Word of God produces fruit (i.e., how the kingdom grows)
THE GROWING SEED—Mark 4:26-29
He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."
Up to this point we have focused on parables found in Matthew’s gospel.. Most are found in Matthew, though some are also found in the other gospels There are one or two parables in Matthews gospel that we have not yet considered but we will examine them later in one of the other gospel. In this lesson, however, we shall examine a parable that is found only in the gospel of Mark. It is called "The Growing Seed" and is recorded in MA 4:26-29 The setting of this parable appears to be the same occasion in which Jesus told, The parable of "The Sower” -MA 4:1-20 and The parable of "The Mustard Seed" - MA 4:30-32 So it must have been at about the time in Jesus ministry when He begins to teach publicly in parables.
THE PARABLE ANALYZED
So what does this parable reveal about the Kingdom of God. It describes how the Word of God produces fruit (i.e., how the kingdom grows) While the "seed" is not identified in this parable as the Word of God, it was defined as such in the parable of "The Sower" - MA 4:14; Luke 8: 11 The growth produced is a mystery - Mark 4:26-28 The Sower can sow the seed and see it sprout and grow but the growth is beyond his comprehension, and even grows by itself. It is very gradual MA 4:28 and step by step growth appears, first the blade, then the head, then the full grain. Through such growth the harvest eventually comes - MA 4:29. Like the Kingdom of God grows by virtue of the Word of God being planted, and is no different than the amazing growth of the seed
HOW DOES THIS PARABLE COMPARE TO THAT OF "THE SOWER"
In the parable of The Sower, the seed did not produce the desired fruit unless it fell on good soil Luke 8:15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. But the parable of "The Growing Seed" stresses the divine power within the Word. A "good and noble heart" cannot bear fruit by it-self! It takes a seed that has within itself the power to germinate and grow in good soil and so this parable emphasizes the need for those who sow to trust and hope in the power of the seed, i.e., the Word of God. [yes, the Word is the "seed" which contains the power for spiritual life and growth when planted in the soil of a good and noble heart!] We may not be able to understand the true working of that power, but this parable illustrates how we can still use it!
THE PARABLE APPLIED
The word of God is a powerful ’SEED’ it can cause us to be "born again" - 1 Pet 1:22-25: Jam 1:18, it can also help us to "grow" - I Pet 2:1-2 and it can indeed "save your souls" - Jam 1:21
All of this is possible because the Word of God is living and powerful, filled with Spirit-giving life – Heb 4:12; Jn 6:63
WAYS TO UTILIZE THIS POWERFUL "SEED"
Firstly by receiving it into our own hearts by that I am talking about the growth of the kingdom of God in our lives and we must receive it properly Luke 8:15; Ac 17:11 With a good and noble heart- Jam 1:21 With meekness- 1 Pet 2:2 and as babies longing for their mothers’ milk [remembering to lay aside anything that would choke out the word in our lives- Jam 1:21; 1 Pet 2:1. By receiving the seed in this way growth will and must occur, But its growth is gradual "first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head..." - Mk 4:28 In order to maintain growth we need to continue to feed upon the Word of God 1 Pet 2:2 like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. We need to it as far and wide as we possibly can. [Here we are talking about the growth of the kingdom of God in the world]