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And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Mark 4:26-29


Jesus here describes the Kingdom of God as a man who scatters seed. The man sleeps and wakes up, and he finds that the seed has sprouted and grows. The man doesn’t know exactly how it happens, but he sees the effect of his scattering of seed.

The seed—the word of God, Jesus Christ—brings automatic growth. The seed grows all by itself. The word of God grows if we receive it. This parable is slightly different than the other sower parables because it doesn’t speak about different conditions of the heart or different kinds of soil. It’s assuming good soil. It’s assuming the ground is receiving the seed, so the focus is on the seed. Jesus is highlighting the power of the seed and what His word, the Gospel, does in our lives.

Once the seed is in our lives, it produces growth all by itself. While the man rests, the seed grows. Jesus is letting us know what our part is and what His part is. He is letting us know that transformation and growth, which are eternal effects, do not occur due to our efforts. It happens through the power of the seed. If we were to desire apple trees, it would not matter how hard we tried to create apple trees—unless we planted an apple seed in the ground, a tree would never occur.

If we desire to be fully-alive humans, if we desire to overcome sin, if we desire fully grown identity, if we desire fruitfulness, if we desire true purpose, we will never see these things by our own efforts. We have a part to play but no effort of ours—without the seed—will ever produce Kingdom growth. The key is the seed.

This is truly liberating. Remember, Jesus is assuming good soil. If our hearts have received the word, and we do not reject this seed, we will see the growth. This is the power of grace in our lives. Jesus has made it so that if the seed is in good soil, in the right environment, it will bring growth and an eventual harvest. We can rest in the power of the seed today. Have you received the word of Christ into your life? Do you believe in the power of the Gospel to save and bring transformation? Rest in trust and faith that what Jesus has done, if received into the soil of your life, will bring a harvest. Not overnight, but it will happen.

Rest in the power of the seed today. The power of His word. The power of His Gospel. The power of His grace.

// Pastor Josh Kelsey