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, ESV)
Seeds are quite interesting and intriguing. They come in numerous sizes, forms, shapes, consistencies and textures. Sometimes the hardness of certain seeds remains hard and impenetrable, cracking open only by fire or long periods of time. Sometime seeds open with the tiniest bit of moisture, ready to begin the continuance of their unique heritage and destiny. Sometimes seeds need to be planted and placed to grow. Sometimes they float on the wind letting the movement of the air determine their destination.
Generally it cannot be ascertained from the seed what a plant or tree will look like or the potential in that particular seed. Seeds can be recognized but their capacities remain mostly unknown. To unlock and release the potential of any seed, care must be taken in preparing the seed bed and in the placing the seed but any growth from the seed remains somewhat a mystery. Sure, we realize life comes through the processes of photosynthesis and the need for nutrients but we remain a bit baffled by it all.
Jesus relates this simple little parable as a metaphor about the Kingdom of God. As we see the seed and we can know of its potential. We can involve ourselves in the planting of the seed but we cannot make it grow or prosper. We are hopeless at doing much more than clearing weeds and aiding in nourishing the plant at times. It is God who created all things and it is God who makes all things grow towards their potential for harvest.
As children of God, we are involved with His love as we help in the planting of that love in the hearts of others; but all growth, change and harvest will come from Him. We are farmers and gardeners in the fields and gardens of His Kingdom but He alone brings forth life, grows and sustains the lushness and abundance of the children under His care. We cannot fully understand how He does all that He does or know what He will bring forth from all those growing under His care. We may not understand the mysteries God or all that He does but just as we see the fruit and harvest of each growing season; there will be a harvest from His love for His children. By the hand and the touch of the Master Gardener … His Kingdom on earth will produce eternal rewards. This is what Jesus the Christ, as our Savior secured on the cross and guarantees through His resurrection even if we cannot understand how it all works.
Suggested Reading … The Parables of Mark 4