Mark 4:26-29 The Seed Sprouts and Grows
Posted by adventbiblestudy on December 10, 2012
Mark 4:26-29 NLTse 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.”
Mark chapter 4 begins with Jesus telling His parable about seeds and a sower. For some reason Jesus told this parable from a boat. With Jesus’ gift for using available back ground and details to add emphasis to His parables, it seems a little strange to tell a parable about a farmer in his field from a boat surrounded by water. Did Jesus do this intentionally to emphasis another point? He may have done this because this parable was designed to teach everyone how to understand all parable. “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.'” Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?” (Mark 4:11-13 NLTse).
When we look at the facts presented, we can see Jesus’ intent was to take the mind off the physical, allowing His listeners to concentrate on the Spiritual. That is why He said, ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing.” Jesus didn’t what them to be entertained, He want them to listen. When His disciples asked Him to explain the meaning of the parable, Jesus instantly pointed to the scripture, “so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand.'” Jesus told His disciples to look beyond the physical which is the world. Jesus did not want His disciples to rely on the world to understand His parables, He wanted them to learn to rely on the Spirit, and God’s written Word.
After Jesus explained the parable of the seed and sower, He told them about a lamp, asking if it is lite and placed under a basket of a bed? Not only would the light be hidden, such an action would create a dangerous situation. Of course a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. Jesus did not provide the spiritual meaning for the symbols He used in this parable, but tested His disciples to see if they were paying attention. To ensure they paid attention, He repeated the same statement He said after the parable of the seed and sower. ” Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
Sitting on dry ground Jesus told His disciples another parable about seeds and a farmer. “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.” Once again Peter thought about his mother’s garden, how he went out every morning to look for the first plants coming up out of the ground. As a young boy, he had no idea how they grew. As a man, he still had no idea. He smiled as he thought about the little things he has no answers for. He didn’t know, but God knows everything. He was beginning to realize why it was so important to rely on God for everything.
Jesus wondered how many of His disciples were comparing what they learned from the farmer sowing seeds and were applying it to this lesson. Jesus knew it was time to add more, just enough to make them think. “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.” Jesus told them what they already knew. Something that sounds obvious to everyone. He was letting them stretch their imaginations on their own. Allowing them the opportunity to identify the symbols and allow the Spirit to direct their minds to the spiritual meaning they represented.
Jesus used the same approach many books and teachers still rely on to teach today. Give an example, explain how to solve the problem, then provide the answer. This is always followed by an example the student must solve on their own based on the information and methods given.
All the disciples waited for Jesus to continue. Based on the expression on His face they could tell He had something to share with them. They waited in silence until Jesus finished His parallel. “And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”
Jesus looked at the expressions on their face change. He knew they were waiting for an explanation with a deep, profound meaning, but now they all looked confused and disappointed. Some could see the connection between seed in the previous parable and this one. But the rest of this parable was so obvious. A seed is planted, produces a plant which matures and is harvested. Maybe Jesus was pointing to the maturing process of the seed. Maybe Jesus was referring the His word maturing in them. Maybe understanding the lesson was a part of their maturing process. While most concentrated on the connection between the seed, John was wondering what the harvest meant. Was the harvest a symbol? There must have been a good reason for Jesus to tell such a simple parable and add one detail.
This entry was posted on December 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm and is filed under Gospel Messages Mark. Tagged: First a leaf blade, harvest time has come, harvests it with a sickle, Kingdom of God is like, Mark 4:26-29 The Seed Sprouts and Grows, scatters seed on the ground, seed sprouts and grows. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.