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Mark 4 The Man Casting Seed

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 10, 2009


KJV Mark 4:26-29

26. And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

27. And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

28. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

29. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

What are the physical aspects of this parable?

Jesus is making a comparison to the kingdom of God. He said the kingdom of God is like a man planting seed in the ground. What happens to seed when it is planted? Nothing until the seed receives moisture and light. Seed also needs warmth. How does seed grow? This is a mystery with spiritual implications. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. KJV Isaiah 55:9-10. This shows how little work a man plays in the actual growth of seed, physical and spiritual. The soil may need work. It may also need weeding. It may need an occasional watering, but there is little else a man can do to make seed sprout and grow.

Anyone with a knowledge of planting and growing will tell you, the quality of the soil is a major factor. Jesus used this illustration in the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13 and Mark 4. This parable uses the metaphor of a growing plant, much like the parable of the sower.

KJV Mark 4:8

8. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

KJV Mark 4:20

20. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

KJV Matthew 13:23

23. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

This is an example of how one parable can be used to understand another. However, when compared to the parable of the sower, it is clear to see this parable contains information not contained in Matthew 13 or Mark 4. This is a very important lesson to learn and apply to the study of prophecy.

Here we are given a reference to the sickle and harvest, a time when the increase of the seed is gathered. A harvest may provide nourishment or an income to the person planting the seed.

Some of the key words found in Mark 4:26-29 are seed, ground, fruit, sickle and harvest. To understand a parable these key words must be compared with other texts to find the spiritual meaning.

 

Seed

KJV Matthew 13:37

37. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

KJV Matthew 13:38-39

38. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Jesus is the one that sows the good seed.

KJV Luke 8:11

11. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

KJV 1 Peter 1:23

23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

Seed is a physical representation for the word of God.

KJV Acts 3:25

25. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

KJV Romans 1:3

3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

KJV Galatians 3:16

16. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

KJV Psalms 102:28

28. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

KJV Psalms 112:1-2

1. Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

2. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

KJV Isaiah 44:3

3. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

Seed also represents offspring, a family line, descendants and ancestors. The above text makes it clear seed can represent God’s family, His followers.

Seed = the word of God or God’s followers.

Ground

KJV Deuteronomy 28:11

11. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

KJV Luke 8:15

15. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

KJV Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

KJV Hosea 10:12. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

KJV Zechariah 8:12 For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

We can see from these verses, good ground is important to feed us. Just as we are fed with physical food, we also need to be fed with spiritual food. Good ground represents blessings from God, honesty and a good heart.

Ground = blessings, honesty and a good heart. A righteous person.

Fruit

KJV Proverbs 8:19-20

19. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. 20. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

KJV Proverbs 11:30

30. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

KJV Proverbs 18:20

20. A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

KJV Jeremiah 17:10

10. I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

KJV Jeremiah 21:14

14. But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.

KJV Jeremiah 32:19

19. Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

KJV 1 Corinthians 15:20

20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

KJV 1 Corinthians 15:23

23. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

KJV James 1:18

18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Fruit is described as a person’s, “doings” which we commonly call works. It is the acts and manners of a person. It is how a person treats others.

Christ is the firstfruit of all those that will be raised from the dead to live in Christ’s kingdom. Christ is the only person to live a sinless life to fulfill the law. His sacrifice by Satan and his followers granted salvation for this world. By His sacrifice Christ became redemption for this world.

Fruit = works or a way of life.

Sickle

KJV Deuteronomy 16:9-10

9. Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:

Obviously, a sickle is used in a physical harvest to cut down a physical crop. In the book of Deuteronomy we see God use this physical crop to teach the Israelites a spiritual lesson in giving thanks to the Lord.

KJV Joel 3:12-14

12. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 13. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

God also uses the sickle to illustrate the harvest at the end of time. It is clear, the one wearing the golden crown appearing upon a white cloud is Christ. The sickle represents the end of time and the harvest. Christ is returning to claim His reward.

Sickle = harvest time, Christ’s return.

Harvest

KJV Revelation 14:15-16

15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

KJV Joel 3:13-14

13. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

KJV Matthew 13:39

39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Harvest = the end of the world, the day of decision.

Now that all of the words have been compared with other texts revealing the spiritual meaning a list of the key words can be compiled.

Seed = the word of God or God’s followers.

Ground = blessings, honesty and a good heart. A righteous person.

Fruit = works or a way of life.

Sickle = harvest time, Christ’s return.

Harvest = the end of the world, the day of decision.

A paraphrase of Mark 4:26-29 can now be written substituting the spiritual meanings for the key words.

The kingdom of God is like a man spreading the word of God upon the righteous. The man does not know how the word of God worked but it did while he slept and went about his life. The earth brings forth fruit on its own, first the blade then the ear, afterwards the ear of corn. When the works of life are brought forth Christ will return.

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