The parable of the Growing Seed, found in Mark 4:26-29, is one of Jesus’ shortest parables but it provides a powerful message. It is a message of encouragement for Christians to be faithful and obedient by continuing to sow the seed of the Gospel even when we can’t immediately see the results. This parable reminds us that our job is to sow and God’s job is to grow. It is a nice parallel to Jesus’ command in the Great Commission to “go forth and tell…” As Christ-followers, we have an inner compulsion, driven by the Holy Spirit, to share the Good News with others yet sometimes we get discouraged by what we perceive as a “thankless pursuit.” Our discouragement stems from a lack of visible results of our efforts. We want our testimonies to be received with immediate acceptance and effusive praise. However, as is most often the case, our sowing is met with ambivalence, polite rejection, or even open hostility.
This parable, like many of Jesus’ teachings, focuses on The Kingdom of God. Basically, the kingdom of God represents life as lived under the Kingship of God; it is when we recognize God’s right to reign supreme. When we, as God’s children, recognize and acknowledge that the reason we sow the seed of the Gospel is for the glory of God and the enlargement of His Kingdom, we can truly enjoy the fruits of our labors. As Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” It’s God’s providence, not our power that makes the seed grow.
Be encouraged in knowing that God’s Seed (His Word) is POWERFUL and that He promised it would not return void. As the prophet recorded God’s promise in Isaiah 55:11: “So is My word that goes out from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” So, the next time you feel like your sowing is meaningless, remember God’s promise, your purpose, and His timing: from this, we will find our joy.
-Pastor Dave Jones