How Does It Do That?

Parables of Jesus for the Modern Pilgrim

This parable is only found in the gospel of Mark. It’s our last parable about the farmer and seeds.

Mark 4:26-29

In this parable, the cast of characters changes a bit. A man is the farmer and throws the seed on the ground. That’s it. That’s all he does. Then the miraculous work of the seed and soil begins.

Whether he is awake or asleep, living his life, the seed does its thing.

It’s a mystery to the farmer.

Once the seed is planted in the soil, it can sprout and grow. We know that a seed by itself will not grow. It needs to be planted.

When the growing plant reaches maturity, the farmer gets back to work in the harvest. He brings the crops in!

The Lessons for the Modern Pilgrim

This lesson is for the one who spreads God’s Good News. This is how the Kingdom grows. We do our part spreading the seed, but the rest is up to God. 

The seed may still be the Word of God, and the soil may still be the human heart. The word unplanted will not grow the Kingdom. But when the word is received into someone’s life, God takes over. The Word of God is alive and active! (Remember the Parable of the Yeast!)

When I read this parable, I feel a great sense of relief. I don’t have to produce the growth. My job is to spread the seed. I can rely on God to work the mystery of the seed and soil. Then, God gives me the privilege of bringing in the crop.

What does this look like today?  I can think of many instances, but it might be as simple as this:

  • You have a friend who does not know Jesus. You build a relationship with them, become a friend. You are planting the seed of Love.
  • They see your life; your peace, your joy, and how you deal with life’s challenges. You are planting the seed of Grace.
  • They ask you what’s different about your life. You share what Jesus has done for you. You plant the seed of Redemption.
  • God takes over. He is already working in this person’s life even before they met you. As time goes on, they ask how they can have what you have. It’s harvest time.
  • Your relationship now deepens because you have this pilgrim journey in common. We continue to sow seeds of the Kingdom.

This parable illustrates that the Kingdom of God is a partnership between God and man. He doesn’t need our help but chooses to let us play a part.

What an amazing blessing to partner with God in His field.

We are Jesus’ hands and feet.