Mark 4:21-34 Friday, 4 June 2021
“…the seed should sprout and grow…. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” -Mark 4:27-28
A Farmer has high hopes when he plants seed on the ground that it would bring in a rich harvest! In fact, Ecclesiastes 11:4 [AMP] says, “He who watches the wind [waiting for all conditions to be perfect] will not sow [seed], and he who looks at the clouds will not reap [a harvest].” The trait of a good farmer is that he is willing to take risks and hence he will be rewarded.
As a continuation of the Parable of the Sower, Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the growing seed. In equating it to the Kingdom of God, we can learn a few principles:
The seed (the Word of God), having the inherent capacity of life, sprouts, grows… the farmer being unaware how it happens.
There is a stage of growth we see- a blade; later on the buds of grain; and finally the full grain which matures or ripens for harvest.
Taking these principles to the Kingdom of God, we see that when the Gospel is sown in the lives of people and they get saved, we see the beginnings of God’s Kingdom- it grows and it expands – in the world and in an individual. Then comes the harvest time- when God comes to establish His Kingdom on the earth full-fledged! In this context we remember Paul’s words in 1Cor.3:6,7: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” God causes the growth of His Kingdom!
Look at this parable from a personal perspective, the Seed which is the Word of God (Luke 8:11) has the potential of life and growth in it. When its planted in a “good” heart (the right soil), it sprouts and grows and brings forth a good harvest! This shows the progress of a Christian from a “babe” to a mature man. Let’s look into the various stages of growth of an individual as given in the Word:
Newborn into God’s Kingdom
A person who is born again begins his new life in Christ. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;” (2 Cor.5:17).
To grow in the Christian faith, one has to “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby..” (1Peter 2:2) Colossians 2:6,7 says “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught,”. Only being rooted in Christ can one draw nourishment to grow.
Growing into maturity is the next stage—“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity…”(Heb.6:1) 2 Peter 3:18 says, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (Colossians 1:10). A sign of maturity and abiding in Christ is bearing much fruit (John 15:5)
God desires each of His children to be made into the image of His Son (Rom.8:29). Hence we are called to this end- “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; and “grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph.4:13,15)
Understanding the stages of growth for a Christian, let us too desire and strive for maturity, bearing fruit with patience (Luke 18:15); for our entire lifetime is a period of cultivation—to become perfect in Christ Jesus!
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Col.1:28)
Listen: ‘He's still working on me’