The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Growing Seed
For the past few weeks in this series, we have been studying the teaching parables that Jesus Christ gave about the Kingdom of God. Seven of those parables are found in Matthew 13. Today, we will be looking at the last parable in this category. The Parable of the Growing Seed is found in Mark 4:26-29. It reads:
26 Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. 28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29 And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”
Verses 26-28 tells us about seasons and I feel we are in a climate at the moment in Christianity where we need to be reminded that we are one body. Although we play different roles, we are aiming at the same goal. Our gifts may differ but our purpose is same.
The farmer scatters bountifully. This represents physical effort. It takes effort to sow. It takes effort to evangelize. It isn’t something we do when we feel like it. Diligence is needed in this task because we may not always know who is ripe for harvest. The day we want to have chilled out from our God given assignment, might be the only chance that a person might have to receive Christ because their time or our time is up.
I understand the frustration that comes with not seeing an immediate result. Sometimes it isn’t about what we are doing wrong. It is just that the season of harvest isn’t ripe. Your witness may be weak and your efforts may seem to influence a few. You might have 10 followers on your blog despite all your effort. But the word of God is a powerful growth agent.
As I studied this text, 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 came into my mind and I will marry it with this text. The Christians in Corinth were divided, pledging loyalty to different leaders. Paul planted the seed of the Good News message in people’s hearts. He was a missionary pioneer, who brought the message of salvation. Apollos watered the seed. Nurtured the new converts by helping them grow in faith. Paul laid the foundation. Apollos built on that foundation. Tragically, just as we find today, the church was divided. Some were loyal to Paul while the others were loyal to Apollos.
Although Apollos was a great communicator and a leader who was successful, he only knew of John’s baptism. Flaw right? But yet, this didn’t disqualify him from being used by God. It shows that he too as a leader had room for growth. The beautiful thing about him was that he was willing to learn (Acts 18:24-26). We need to allow each other room to grow. Someone not knowing as much as we know, doesn’t mean that God cannot use them if they are willing to be taught.
When we sow, God is the One who makes it grow, not the leaders. Yes there are leadership skills that leaders should have to aid the growth. However the One who brings about the harvest season is God. Understanding this helps us know where to accord the glory. Our spiritual leaders should certainly be respected. But, we need to stop putting them on pedestals that create barriers between people or set them up as a substitute for Christ.
God’s work involves many different individuals with various gifts and abilities.
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There are no superstars in this assignment. We all are team members performing our own special roles. We can become useful members of God’s team by setting aside our desires to receive glory for what we do. Listen, this is not to say that we should not encourage each other. That is another extreme of the pendulum. Taking glory is different from taking encouragement. The glory that comes from people is comparatively worthless.
God promises that His harvest will be magnificent and prolific. The best fruit ever grown! Let’s keep our eyes on the great harvest to come and not allow bad soil or weeds discourage us from faithful service and witness.
Next time on this series, we will be looking at parables of Jesus that teaches about service and obedience.
If you would like to read previous parables, please click here.
–Efua Uke is a United Kingdom-based mentor, blogger, and contributor to Ambo TV. This article originally appeared on her website Grace Over Pain. You can see the full article there.