PART II: PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM
CHAPTER 3 THE GROWING SEED
The parable of the Growing Seed is found only in Mark.
There are four parables dealing with sowing seed: (1) The
Parable of the Soils, (2) The Growing Seed, (3) The Wheat and
Weeds and (4) The Mustard Seed. This parable is found only in
Jesus presents a well-known farm story. A farmer sowedThe Story
seed. The seed sprouted and grew in a way the farmer did not
understand. The plant grew, matured and the grain was
He [Jesus] also said, "This is what
the kingdom of God is like. A man
scatters seed on the ground. Night and
day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the
seed sprouts and grows, though he does
not know how. All by itself the soil
produces grain--first the stalk, then
the head, then the full kernel in the
head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he
puts the sickle to it, because the
harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29, New
The Primary Sower of good seed is always Jesus. However,
in this parable it is the believer who is the secondary
sower, that is, the believer sows in obedience to the Lord.
The seed is the Word of God. As the natural seed has
life within itself, so the Word of God has life when
anointed by the Holy Spirit.
The ground represents the human heart, a malformed mass.
The seed takes the heart and forms it, that is, it grows
According to the plan in the seed. The plant that now
represents the believer grows "automatically." The Greek
word AUTOMATE, translated "All by itself," is the word from
which comes our word, "automatic." [Ralph G. Turnbull,
Gen. ed., PROCLAIMING THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand Rapids:
Baker Book House, 1961), THE GOSPEL OF MARK, by Ralph Earle,
ThD, p. 37].
The harvest may represent the conversion of the sinner
or the harvest at the end of the age. Both are biblical and
both fit the parable.
Morgan comments, the central matter in this little parable is
that of growth. Sowing is recognised. Harvest is
also recognized, but the teaching concerns the
process between the sowing and the harvest. [G.
Campbell Morgan, D.D., THE PARABLES AND METAPHORS
OF OUR LORD (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell
Company, 1943), p. 164].
Ralph Earle comments, the lesson of this parable is that we must trust
the Word of God, when faithfully sown, to take
root and grow automatically. [Ralph G. Turnbull,
gen. ed., PROCLAIMING THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1961), THE GOSPEL OF
MARK, by Ralph Earle, ThD, p. 37].
Therefore, we conclude that
WILL TRANSFORM EVERY RECEPTIVE HUMAN HEART
INTO THE LIKENESS OF CHRIST.
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians
6:9, New International Version).
Let us not be weary in well doing. Let us continue to
sow the seed of God's Word, knowing that the Holy Spirit is
causing it to grow, unseen, in human hearts! END