More Lessons from Seeds

Mark 4: 26-29:  Jesus is always speaking the language of the people, even when he used parables (stories with meaning) that sometimes seemed obscure to the audience, he stilled used real to life examples to teach them what the Kingdom of God is like. How often does the Sunday morning minister do that today?
After a brief interlude on the thought of ” with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Jesus returns to the example of the the sower, the soil and the seed. He is coming back to the thought about the seed and the soil so perhaps there’s really something important to grasp here in the whole process that He’s illustrated.
In the earlier parable He didn’t finish the process with the harvest He just states that the grain in the good soil produces a bountiful harvest. Now He tells us that all this happens without the farmer actually being aware of what is taking place “under the surface”. What is happening isn’t at first apparent to the farmer but the result is a fully ripened head of grain ready to be harvested. The whole process of getting to that point is dependent on the state of the soil (think hardened and exposed to predators, rocky, or fertile in Mark 4:4-8) which encourages the grain to produce the final result, or not.
In Jesus teaching this is what the Kingdom of God is. The seeds of the Kingdom fall all over, on all sorts of people but it is only the receptive hearts that actually can welcome it in to give the Kingdom a healthy environment where it can grow to full maturity. And when full maturity is reached with the resulting grain stalk ripe, it must be harvested by the farmer. Without a harvest the stalk will die, it falls down and the harvest is lost. Technically speaking I guess the grain wouldn’t be lost because those grains would go back into the ground and the cycle would continue. However in speaking of Kingdom principles the grain needs to be harvested and in any case what farmer wants to lose his resource for a livelihood?
What stands out in this short epilogue to the sower and the seed is that the farmer is there waiting for the moment to put the sickle to the grain stalk when the harvest has come. The farmer who grows cereal crops watches his field progress and eagerly waits for the day to get back on the field again to bring in the harvest. When that day comes the sickle is ready for the task. So as spiritual farmers are we attentive to our fields and ready for the harvest to happen? He joyfully watches the development of the grain to the point of harvest, at times there are stresses with storms and predators that threaten the field but the process continues on and the day of reaping comes. If the soil is good soil the grain will withstand the storms and farmer can do his part in fending off predators. We need to be like the farmer who does his part, let the process run its course and be ready with the sickle for harvest.

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