Verse: Mark 4:26-29 (Parable of the Growing Seed)
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.”
I recently went back to my hometown in Ohio, a small town surrounded by farms. Driving there, I passed miles and miles of corn and soybean fields. The farmers there know what they are doing. They plant their seeds at just the right time. And they tend the fields until the crop is ready for harvest.
In this parable, Jesus was talking to farmers and those that know what farmers do. He was telling them and us that those of us in his kingdom here on earth were going to be like farmers. Our job is to scatter the seed, watch the crops and then harvest them.
Two things strike me about this parable. The first is – are we doing our job? Jesus has given us the easiest part of growing the kingdom. We are to tell people about what Jesus has done for us. That plants the seed in them. We are there to answer questions of course but the Holy Spirit does the difficult part of growing faith from the seed. And we can be there for the harvest by praying for those that want to accept Jesus as their Savior.
I know what often keeps me from sharing my faith is fear of messing it up, of not being able to do it right. But God is just asking us to do what He knows we can do. When I feel I have planted a seed, it usually is a time when the conversation seems to leave an opening for me to tell what God has done for me. And then the Holy Spirit nudges me to say something. It is not necessarily profound but lets me say how much I feel that His love has helped me. Sometimes it is a nudge to pray for someone.
The second thing that strikes me is what we are not required to do. The farmer is not out in the fields convincing the plants to grow. He is not debating with the plants about options. The plants grow because the soil is good and there is sun and rain. These are things that God provides for the crops and that he provides for the seeker. That takes a lot of pressure of us. If you have hard questions, send them to Christian!
Don’t feel that you need all the answers before talking with your friends about Jesus. All we have to share is how our lives have changed. And we need to listen for the Holy Spirit for direction. By doing this, we will be participating in the kingdom coming here on earth.
Lord, please help us to see what you are doing in our midst. Nudge us to know when you want us to plant a seed with our story. Calm our fears and give us the words of life for our friends. We pray for their growth. Amen.
Author: Brad Dunn