The Parables of Jesus # 7
Growing seed
Mark 4:24-29

Mark 4:24-29
  24. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you
        and unto you that hear shall more be given.
  25. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he
        hath.
  26. And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
  27. And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
  28. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
  29. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Introduction:
  [A] The actual parable we will be looking at is found in verses twenty-six through twenty-nine, but I couldn’t
          resist adding verses twenty-four and twenty-five to our study tonight as well.

Verse 24 - And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to
  you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

  [A] Jesus begins in verse twenty-four by saying “take heed what ye hear”
          [1] This is good advice for everyone to adhere too.
          [2] Why is it important that you and I take heed what we hear?
                  [a] Not all that we hear is godly
                  [b] Much of what we hear can cause us to fail in our Christian walk.
                  [c] There is much ungodly teaching in the world.
          [3]
2 Timothy 2:15-16
                  15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
                        dividing the word of truth.
                  16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
                         [a] What does these verses mean?
                         [b] How do they fit in with Verse twenty-four of our scripture tonight?
 
  [B] What measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you:
          [1] The word mete means measure, so by what measure you measure, it shall be measured unto you.
          [2] You shall be treated according to the use you make of your opportunities of learning.
                  [a] The more God has allowed us to know, the more he will expect from us.                                         
                  [b] If God has given us gifts, he expects us to use them
                  [c] If God had given us knowledge, he expects us to share it.  

  [C] Unto you that hear shall more be given.
          [1] If you well, and make improvement with what you hear, you shall be well rewarded. If not, your reward
                  shall be small.
          [2] One must listen, and determine what they are hearing.
                  [a] Is it of God?
                  [b] Is it biblical?
          [3] Than one should learn the goodly things, applying them to their life and sharing them with others as
                  well.

Verse 25 - For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he
   hath.
 
  [A] When one uses what God has given them God will give them more.
 
  [B] When one does not use what they have, they will lose it.

THE PARABLE OF THE SEED

Verse 26
- And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
 
  [A] The kingdom of God (mentioned only in the New Testament – mentioned 67 times)
          [1] What is the Kingdom of God.
                  [a] A Kingdom :
                          [1-a] defined as a country whose head is a king or queen
                          [2-a] defined as a realm or region in which something or someone is dominant
                  [b] The Kingdom of God then is the realm that God is dominant in, and where he is the head.        
          [2] Where is the Kingdom of God?
                  [a] The Kingdom of God is everywhere, he created everything and therefore rules over Everything
                  [b] Usually we think of the Kingdom of God being in heaven
          [3] How can we than explain the bible stating that Satan is the Prince of this world, and the ruler of this
                  world?
                  [a] God is still the King, but Satan has been given temporary ruler status
                  [b] Satan will be taken out of the picture eventually and Christ will reign supreme
 
  [B] A man should cast seed into the ground – This is obviously speaking of planting a seed, of farming and of
          sowing a harvest.
          [1] Jesus uses an analogy here that everyone present could have associated with, planting a seed
          [2] There are several things we must consider when we start thinking of planting a seed.
                  [a] Having the proper soil
                  [b] Preparing the soil
                  [c] Having the seed
                  [d] Planting the seed properly
                  [e] Having the proper moisture
                  [f] Allowing the seed to germinate and grow
          [3] Before we go any further, we need to determine what the seed is that Jesus is speaking of here.
                  [a] The seed is the gospel of Christ
                  [b] The seed is the truth of God’s word
                  [c] The seed is the Love of Jesus to the world, along with his saving grace.
 
  [C] With this in mind, than I want to explore the different factors we need to consider when planting a Seed –
          the six things. (Keep in mind that the parable is about planting a seed is man)
          [1] You must have the proper soil
                 [a] One of the parables that Jesus told was about the seed that fell on the rocky ground, the fertile
                          ground and the ground which only allowed the seed to be covered slightly. I don’t want to say
                          much about this because we will be looking at it at a future time.
                 [b] Yet in that parable, some of the seeds fell on rocky ground, there was no way for it to take root –
                          some fell on ground in which they were able to penetrate slightly and begin to grow, yet without
                          room to have adequate roots so they soon died. The seeds which fell on fertile ground grew
                          and multiplied.
                 [c] When we are sowing the seeds of the gospel, we will have both successes and failures. There will
                          be some who listen and some who will not. This is not a thing we can always determine just by
                          looking, therefore we must still cast the seeds and hope for the best. Yet it would do us good to
                          look for the fertile soil, those who are ready, those who need the gospel and are open to it.
          [2] You must properly prepare the soil
                  [a] If you want a garden to grow, you won’t just toss the seeds on the ground and hope they will grow,
                          instead you till the ground and work it, adding fertilizer to the soil, and taking the steps needed
                          to assure that the seeds you are planting will have every chance to grow.
                  [b] The same holds true in spreading the seeds of he Gospel.
                          [1-a] One cannot expect just to throw the seeds of the Gospel out to the lost and expect it to
                                  grow
                          [2-a] One must be willing to cultivate a friendship – to invest time and energy in a person in
                                  order to prepare them for receiving the gospel
                          [3-a] Jesus went to the sinners homes and dine with them
                          [4-a] Jesus walked among the people and healed them
                          [5-a] We must reach out to them in love and deed in order to show them that we have
                                  something worth having, than we can plant the seed of the gospel and it will take root
          [3] You must have the seed yourself
                 [a] Unless you have the gospel in you, unless you are living what you proclaim, you cannot sow the
                          seed
                 [b] People can see through a person easily if they try to deceive them
                 [c] The seed must be healthy if you want it to grow
                         [1-a] I remember years ago, some grain seeds were found in an Egyptian tomb. They had lain
                                  there for a thousand years yet when they were planted, they germinated and grew.
                         [2-a] The Christian has the seed in them. Sometimes it had lain there for a long time, but if taken
                                  out and planted properly, it too will germinate and grow        
          [4] You must Plant the seed properly
                 [a] I have already spoke a bit about this, when I spoke of the parable Jesus told
                 [b] When we are planting the seeds of the Gospel, we must take into consideration how we are
                          planting the seed
                          [1-a] Not all respond the same way
                          [2-a] Not all will respond to the same thing
                          [3-a] We must determine what is the proper way to sow the seen in a person and then we must
                                  pursue it
          [5] You must have the proper moisture
                 [a] If the ground you plant your seed in is too dry is will not germinate
                 [b] If the ground you plant your seed in is too wet, it will rot
                 [d] We must be careful when we plant the seeds of the gospel that we do not bug the person too
                          much, but we must be sure that we don’t forget them either
          [6] Allow the seed time to germinate and grow
                 [a] When a person accepts Jesus, they need time to grow in the faith – they will make mistakes, and
                          sill mess up. Our job is to pick them up, to brush them off and offer encouragement instead of
                          rebuke
                 [b] One of the biggest mistakes most Christians make is expecting a convert to be perfect
                         [1-a] Maybe not perfect – but at the same level of growth they themselves are on

Verse 27 - And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

  [A] The man planted the seed, and went about his business,
         [1] That tiny little seed you plant, had live in it. Where it is or how it comes to be is not something that one
                  really knows. All we know is that the seed germinates and grows.
         [2] The man did not get up during the night or even during the day to check under the ground to see what
                  was happening
                  [a] What would happen to your garden or to that tiny little bean seed, if several times a day you dug
                          it up to see if it were growing?
                          [1-a] Likely it would die
         [3] When we plant the seeds of the gospel in a person, it is not necessary to dig it up every day to see if it
                  is growing, You need to allow time for the seed to grow and to germinate
                  [a] It’s true that you need to be involved in the person’s life, that you need to be concerned for them
                          and available to them, but there is no need to dig up the seed and replant it every day,
                  [b] When the seed is placed in the ground, it is placed there in faith.
                          [1-a] You have picked the right ground
                          [2-a] You have prepared the ground
                          [3-a] You have chosen the correct seed to plant
                          [4-a] You have planted the seed
                          [5-a] You have given the see everything it needs to grow
                          [6-a] Now you must allow god to make it grow, The seed is made to grow in man through the
                                  power of the Holy Spirit
                  [c] After a while, the tiny seed burst through the ground
                          [1-a] First you see the ground starting to crack
                          [2-a] Next you see the shoot popping through the ground
                          [3-a] Than the shoot becomes a stock and leaves appear
                          [4-a] Blooms appear
                          [5-a] Buds become the bean of pea that you planted.
                          [6-a] When the time is right, the harvest is ready.

Verse 28 - For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

  [A] This is just what I was talking about.

  [B] All of this takes time
          [1] That seed that’s planted in man, takes time as well,
          [2] It needs to be cultivated
          [3] The weeds need to be pulled
          [4] It has to have room to grow

Verse 29 - But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
  
  [A] Immediately he putteth in the sickle.
          [1] This is the way with the planter husbandman. As soon as the grain is ripe, it is cut down.
          [2] It is that was often with the Christian as well.
                  [a] As soon as he is prepared for heaven, he is taken there.
                  [b] This is not the way always, for we see many who are matured and ripe for the harvest who live
                          many years planting more and more seed- yet it answers the question as to why some are
                          taken, why some of the good ones die and the bad ones are left
                  [c] Of course, to be harvested by God, and taken to heaven is not a bad thing, instead it is a good
                          thing for those who are ready to go

  [B] Putting in the Sickle has even another far reaching meaning.
       
   Revelation 14:13-20
          13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord
                from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow
                them.
          14. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having
                on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
          15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust
                in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
          16. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
          17. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
          18. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him
                that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the
                earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
          19. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the
                great winepress of the wrath of God.
          20. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the
                horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
          [1] Here we see two reapings
                  [a] The first is when Jesus comes to rapture the church away
                  [b] The second is when the evil of the earth is destroyed
          [2] Those who are in the first harvest, are those who have had the seed of the gospel planted in them and
                  allowed it to grow.