"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Parable Of The Growing Seed (4:26-29) INTRODUCTION 1. Of the many parables taught by Jesus, there is one found only in Mark's gospel... a. It is "The Parable Of The Growing Seed" b. Recorded in Mk 4:26-29 (Read) 2. The setting of this parable is the same as when Jesus told... a. The parable of "The Four Soils" - cf. Mk 4:1-20 b. The parable of "The Mustard Seed" - cf. Mk 4:30-32 [Let's begin by taking a closer look the parable itself...] I. THE PARABLE ANALYZED A. WHAT IT REVEALS ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD... 1. It describes how the Word of God produces fruit (i.e., how the kingdom grows) a. The "seed" is not identified in this parable as the Word of God b. But it was defined as such in the parable of "The Sower" - cf. Mk 4:14; Lk 8:11 2. The growth produced by the Word is a mystery - Mk 4:26-28a a. The sower can sow the seed and see it sprout and grow b. But the growth is beyond his comprehension, and even grows by itself 3. The growth produced by the Word is gradual - Mk 4:28b-29 a. It doesn't all occur at once b. But step by step: first the blade, then the head, then the full grain c. But through such growth the harvest eventually comes
- Mk 4:29 -- So the kingdom grows mysteriously and gradually by virtue of God's Word B. COMPARING THIS PARABLE WITH "THE FOUR SOILS"... 1. The parable of "The Four Soils" emphasizes human responsibility a. The seed did not produce the desired fruit unless it fell on good soil b. It takes "a good and noble heart" for the seed to produce fruit! - cf. Lk 8:15 2. The parable of "The Growing Seed" stresses the divine power within the Word a. A "good and noble heart" cannot bear fruit by itself! b. It takes Seed that has within itself the power to germinate and grow in good soil -- This parable emphasizes the need to trust in the power of the Seed (God's Word) [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 fully comprehend the true working of that power, but the parable illustrates how we can still use it! And for that, let's now consider...] II. THE PARABLE APPLIED A. THE WORD OF GOD IS A POWERFUL "SEED"... 1. It can cause us to be "born again" - 1Pe 1:22-25; Jm 1:18 2. It can help us to "grow" - 1Pe 2:1-2 3. It can indeed "save your souls" - Jm 1:21 4. It is living and powerful, filled with Spirit-giving life
- He 4:12; Jn 6:63 -- Never underestimate the power of the Word of God! B. TWO WAYS TO UTILIZE THE POWERFUL "SEED"... 1. By receiving it into our own hearts (for spiritual growth) a. Here we are talking about the growth of the kingdom of God in our lives b. Of course, we must receive it properly 1) With a good and noble heart - Lk 8:15; cf. Ac 17:11 2) With meekness - Jm 1:21 3) As babies longing for their mothers' milk - 1Pe 2:2 4) "Laying aside" those things that would "choke" the Word - cf. Jm 1:21; 1Pe 2:1 c. When so received, growth will occur 1) But remember the parable, for the growth will be gradual - Mk 4:28 2) Therefore the need to feed daily on the Word, "that you may grow thereby" - 1Pe 2:2 2. By sowing it as far and wide as we possibly can (for kingdom growth) a. Here we are talking about the growth of the kingdom of God in the world b. Like the sower in the parable of "The Sower", we must sow the seed everywhere c. But like the sower in the parable of "The Growing Seed", we must remember... 1) Growth comes through the divine power of the seed a) It is God who gives the increase - cf. 1Co 3:5-7 b) We are simply "seed-throwers" and "water-boys"! 2) Growth comes in stages, not all at once a) There will be days when all we seem to be doing is "sowing" b) There will be days when all we seem to be doing is "waiting" 3) Like the farmer, then, we must be patient - cf. Jm 5:7 -- In our lives and in the world, spiritual growth occurs only through the Word! CONCLUSION 1. The general lessons in the parable of "The Growing Seed" are these... a. In the kingdom of God, as in the kingdom of nature, we are laborers together with God b. The results depend on Him, and for the perfection of these results He takes His own time 2. That being the case... a. Our duty is to sow the seed, it is for God to give the increase - cf. 1Co 3:6-9 b. Having sown the seed, we must wait for God's Word to perfect the growth - cf. Php 1:6 3. Therefore this parable teaches us to trust and hope in power of the Word of God... a. Do we trust in its power to save the lost? 1) Or do we look to gimmicks designed by men? 2) The gospel is God's power to save! - cf. Ro 1:16-17 b. Do we trust in its power to save your own soul? 1) Or do we look to self-help methods that promise but really can't deliver? 2) The Word of God is what is capable of saving our souls! - cf. Jm 1:21 Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother? Both in the world, and in your own life as well...?