Monday, April 5, 2010

Mark 4:26-29 Jesus' Parable of the Kingdom's Growth

26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 “and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 “For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 “But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Jesus now follows up His parable of the Sower with specific parables about the nature of the Kingdom of God. The first was the parable of the lampstand (Mark 4:26-29). In this parable Jesus likens the Kingdom of God’s growth to that of a man who scatters seed on the ground, “and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.” Vs. 27

In the first half of Jesus’ parable He makes analogy to the Kingdom of God’s growth like that of seeds scattered on the ground. There is a mystery to how the Kingdom grows, and thus Jesus compares its growth to that of seeds which a man has sown. Which likewise have a mystery about their growth that we cannot fully explain, though we observe the growth process. “For the earth yields crops by itself…” vs. 28

Similarly the Kingdom of God’s growth is independent of us. We do not dictate when and how the Kingdom of God grows. In many ways if we try to formulate what makes for successful growth we only deceive ourselves since that belongs to God alone. We merely scatter seeds of faith; that is a believer’s responsibility; for ultimately all growth comes by God, both in the Kingdom of God as well as a believer’s life. Now in this growth process of the seeds, and thus the Kingdom of God, Jesus describes four distinct Phases:
“First the blade.” The first phase of the Kingdom is like the first signs of a plants growth. Immediately one thinks of Jesus Christ who first preached and taught the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:15) and how He did many miracles and healings and such as He brought the gospel first to His own people Israel, while discipling His chosen twelve. The first phase then would be from Jesus Christ’s Incarnation to His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension for those early events are foundational to the Kingdom of God becoming accessible to mankind on earth.

“Then the head.” The second Phase could be thought of as the “church age” which began with the Holy Spirit’s outpouring at Pentecost forty days after the Lord Jesus Christ’s ascension back to the Father (Read Acts 1-3). This being pivotal to mankind’s redemption from sin and death, for with the Holy Spirit’s arrival all of Jesus Christ’s promises of eternal life come to fruition in those who believe. For it is the Holy Spirit who brings repentant sinners to life and thus into union with God and Jesus Christ by God’s Spirit dwelling inside us (Eph. 1:13-14), that is how one becomes a member of the Body of Christ. Thus God is no longer said to dwell in Temples (Acts 7:48-50), but in His creation who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 3:18-26). Though believing Jews are predominate at the early stages of this phase of growth. The Kingdom will increasingly come to the Gentiles with Israel’s growing opposition of the followers of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Rejecting faith in Jesus Christ as the only means into a relationship with God and turning back to Moses and circumcision as the means of salvation (Acts 15; 28:17-29). And thus with that their fate is sealed for a season as the “pillars” of their faith will be removed from them, both their Temple and their nation will suffer ruin at the hands of the Romans according to the will of God. Something which Jesus foretold would happen, even before His crucifixion (Matt. 23:37-39; 24:1-2).

“After that the full grain in the head” The third phase then is the precursor to the finial, before the Lord Jesus Christ’s return. The Kingdom having been preached to the entire world; with both believing Jews and Gentiles sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). All that awaits is the Lord’s return, the rapture of the church, and the final judgment which is the final phase, “But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Vs. 29

The harvest being the separation of the just souls of men, women and children made right with God by their faith in Jesus Christ from those who rejected God’s offer to pardon their sins through His Son’s death on a cross. Now there is a lot one could try to say about God first gathering the Gentiles to Himself, then Israel into a nation, their returning to Him, the tribulation period and such. Pages could spent on looking into those events foretold in the Prophetic Scriptures. Yet those things are not the issue. The issue is have you made a personal decision to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead for your sins forgiveness and getting right with God? For only those who see their need and thus repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be forgiven their sins and saved from the judgment to come. Listen God does indeed love you and wants to you to experience abundant life with Him through His Son. For God’s will is not that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance, (2 Peter 3:9), that is a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For you cannot change yourself, nor can you atone for your past wrongs, but God has and can if you will open your heart to Him through His Son, who suffered and died for us all so that we might be set free from sin and saved from God’s judgment against it. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ says to all: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Rev. 3:20

To begin a relationship with God begins by simply:
Accepting that you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness
Believing that God loves you and has provided everything you need to be forgiven. 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17
Trusting that God has forgiven you when you repent and turn to Him and put your personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord who was crucified and raised from the dead so that you and I could be forgiven.
Confessing Jesus Christ as Lord (Rom. 10:9, 10, 13). Usually this takes place with initiation into a church community by water baptism. Though public confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and ones faith in Him is not restricted to that, and in no way does that alone define Christ's followers. It does give opportunity to make a public declaration of ones faith in God through the Lord Jesus Christ and get connected with Him through a local body of believers. I hope what I have written inspires faith in you, if you have any questions feel free to correspond in comment box I'd be glad to try to answer any questions you may have.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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