The Miracle of Good Soil and Seed: Mark 4:26-29
“26) And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27) and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28) The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29) But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”” Mark‬ ‭4‬:‭26‬-‭29‬ ‭
Jesus again pictured the kingdom of God by a parable about gardening or farming. In a sense, we could assume say He was adding depth to the parable of the sower. In this parable He is focusing on the faithfulness of God!
Look closely, this parable minimizes the role of the sower. He sows the seed in good soil and watches the miracle unfold day by day. In fact in this story, the sower sleeps until the harvest. He wisely trusted God to fulfill His role.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 adds depth to this parable. It acknowledges that Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God was the one causing the growth. No doubt, the gardener can irrigate and cultivate, but unless God does His part there will be no growth.
This forces us to acknowledge three things. First, the condition of the soil is important. We are responsible to make sure the soil in our life is good. A good farmer works his soil every year to improve its quality. Never stop improving the soil of your soil.
Second, the DNA of the seed is important. Make sure the best seed is being planted in your life. There is an overwhelming amount of bad seed in churches, Christian literature and the world today. The seed you plant in your soul will determine the crop you harvest. I spend most of my time putting the heirloom seed of Gods word in my heart, soul and mind. I waste zero time on new Christian modified seed. It’s worthless and counterproductive for godliness.
Finally, the main focus is on God. He is the one who causes the growth. It is a mystery, but when good seed interacts with good soil… miracles happen! God is at work. Soon the seed sprouts. It’s like the fields come alive. Within a few weeks, the fields change color from brown soil to green crops. Then the blades appear followed by the fruit. Some crops come to maturity quickly, others take more time, but thanks to God… there will be a harvest.
Where I live in north Iowa, we have one growing season and then the harvest. As in the previous parable of the sower, good soil mixing with good seed can produce thirty, sixty and a hundredfold. But wait, that’s just one growing season.
As a Christian, I’ve now enjoyed more than fifty growing seasons in my life. By God’s grace, I constantly work to improve my soil and select quality seed… but my primary focus is on God. The Holy Spirit is producing fruit in my life I never dreamed was possible even ten years ago. I take John 15:8 seriously; “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
Like most farmers, I have had some very disappointing years. I was negligent preparing the soil of my soul and allowed some weed seeds in my garden, but God was faithful! The good news, by God’s grace He has given me many more growing seasons. Obeying and walking with Jesus keeps getting better and better.
Such is the kingdom of God. Past performance does not dictate future fruitfulness. If you’ve had some bad years in your life, take advantage of a new planting season. Invite the Holy Spirit to renew the soil of your soul. Get serious about planting better seed in your life. By all means, stop putting weed seeds in your heart and mind! Then ask God to do His work in and through your life.
Caution: Be prepared for a radically different harvest. Then repeat the process every year. Good gardening has a compounding affect in every growth cycle. Walking with God gets better and better as you tend your fields properly. He is always faithful to do His part.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global