Mark 4: 26-34
Mark 4:26-34 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Jesus wraps up His teaching for the time being with these two parables. In verses 26 to 29 the Kingdom of God is a phrase that encompasses all of God’s redemptive activity. Today it’s the church. God saves souls and builds His church.
Man plays his part in the process of kingdom planting, but God is the genius.
In verse 26, the farmer is sowing seed. Christians are called to take the seed of the gospel and spread it. In verse 27: after you “seed” you rest. But God isn’t sleeping. He grows the seed. The farmer knows that it happens, but he doesn’t know how. Here we trust God. If He can make a tree come from a tiny mustard seed, He can change our hearts. He is an amazing miracle worker! We can trust that if we cast the seed, He will make it work.
In verse 29 the farmer harvests. Harvesting or reaping is disciple making. And that’s another of Jesus’ commands for us. To go and make disciples. We do this once they’ve heard the message and God starts His work. We engage them, encourage them, and help them.
In verses 30 through 32 the birds nesting in the trees are the souls of men coming to the church. The church (tree) shelters them from the sun, gives them rest from their flight and protects them from hunters. The church needs to be big and strong to support its members. And the members can’t just sit next to the tree or fly around it, they have to come close and commit.
From this section we learn we must know the gospel well and spread it liberally. Then trust the Savior with all our heart and commit to the church with all our might.