As we continue to look at Mark’s Gospel, we come to another parable of Christ. This one is about a sower and his seed. The earlier parable about a sower zeroed in on the different types of soil. This one talks specifically about how the seed works.
This illustration explains our relationship to the Word of God. Specifically, how it works as seed in our lives. While I’m responsible to accept God’s Word into my life, there’s another aspect that I have no control over.
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
One of the most important concepts for us to understand is that the Kingdom of God is all about the Word being planted. This is a part of all that we do as believers.
As a pastor, my greatest assignment is to receive the Word in order to plant it again in the lives of those who hear me. Along with that, every Christian needs to be planting the Word into the lives of those around them.
With this comes the realization that nothing I do will bring about the growth of that seed, once it’s been planted. From then on it’s out of my control. Once you plant the Word into the lives of your friends and family, it’s time to wait – and that can be the hardest part.
Sometimes we want to force them to produce fruit. We try to convince and coerce. That’s usually when we start to push them further away. We need to learn to plant, then step back and let God provide the increase.
The Word, by its very nature, begins to grow below the surface. It cannot be stopped, but neither can it be hurried along. It goes at the pace God has set for it. One thing is certain; it will produce the harvest that God intended it to bring forth. This thought was echoed by the apostle Paul.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7
We all have our part to play in the Kingdom of God. Some of us plant the seed and some water it. None of us can make it grow; that’s God’s department. The only help we can give it, once it’s planted, is in the watering process.
In the natural, no farmer would think to dig up the seed, just to check if it started growing yet. But there are many who are guilty of this – spiritually speaking. How many spiritual crops have we missed because we didn’t simply leave the seed alone?
Once the Word is planted, it’s time to step back and leave it in the Lord’s hands. Let Him do what only He can do. Then we’ll see the harvest come by the power of God.
Question: When have you caused bigger problems by trying to force the Word of God to grow in someone?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi