The Parable of the 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.”

This short illustration feels like the most basic of all parables that Yeshua taught. It’s so simple that there’s not a whole lot written about this in the commentaries. But it’s intended to bring out a truth about the Kingdom of G-d.

The Kingdom of G-d refers collectively to G-d’s elect. The one’s who have been brought into His family by the redemptive work of His Son, Yeshua. Matthew 7:21 tells us that only those who do the will of the Father can enter this Kingdom.

When saying the “Kingdom of G-d” in the parable of the seed, Yeshua is not speaking about heaven but about the role of Adonai and His disciples in expanding the Kingdom.

Both have a part to play. We, as his disciples, are expected to go into the world and carry the Good News of our Messiah – that He has paid the price to redeem us. He has freed us from the bondage and condemnation of the law and allowed us to walk in His ways clothed in His righteousness.

We are called to live our lives in such a way as to be witnesses of His work.

Adonai, on the other hand, provides His Spirit that draws and convicts man of sin. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 3:7 that it is G-d alone who causes the saints to grow in their faith. He provides faith for the elect using the seed that we plant.

The man here is a farmer who faithfully sows the seeds into the soil… and then goes to bed.

In other words, he carries on with his normal life while expecting the seed to do what it was made to do, grow and bear fruit.

He’s at a loss to explain how this happens. He doesn’t water it. He doesn’t pull weeds. He doesn’t spray the bugs. (This place sound like heaven!)

He just goes to bed.

He gets up.

Why does he do this?

Because there’s nothing else he can do.

Again in 1 Corinthians 3:7, Paul has planted, Apollos has watered but it is G-d alone who can bring the increase.

The sower watches the field and he sees the seed start to sprout. It grows and develops into a plant in the same type as the seed that was planted.

Crops need to grow before they can reproduce. They need to mature and be healthy. And that is the ultimate purpose of each believer. To further the Kingdom of G-d by helping other disciples reach the point of sowing more seed. To fulfill the final commandment given by Yeshua before He ascended into the heavens.

“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

There are many different ways of filling this mitzvot. It’s more than being the preacher at the pulpit every service. It can be the singer and songwriter recording godly hymns. It can be the children’s teacher instructing the next generation. It can be a missionary doctor flying into a foreign country. It can be someone who takes time to listen to the worries of a coworker and explain about the One who can carry their burdens.

There are many different ways we can plant and water the precious seed in order to develop disciples for our Creator.

If we’re going to sow the seed and expect to make disciples for Yeshua, then it has to be what was planted in us. It has to be the same Word of G-d that brought us to salvation. We cannot expect a harvest of like-minded disciples if we cast out bad seed. That doesn’t work.

You can’t plant an apple tree and get lemons from it. And you certainly can’t make lemonade out of what you find on that tree!

If you plant false theology then your going to get followers of a false doctrine. And while HaShem may mercifully guide them into the right way, you will be held accountable for your teachings (James 3:1).

A plant doesn’t grow for its own sake. It grows in order to multiply and bear more seed. At the creation of the world, G-d commanded the vegetation, plants, and fruit trees to bear fruit after their own kind with seed in them. The purpose of a plant is to multiply.

Finally the seed has grown and matured. It is harvest time and ready for collection. Now the sower quickly prepares for action, He has patiently waited and watched the fields but now moves immediately into the harvest.

The sower now becomes a worker in the harvest field. He is faithful to the end. He not only planted the seed but he has made himself available for the final effort.

In Matthew 9:35-38, Yeshua travels over Israel and almost despairs at what He finds. “The harvest is plentiful,” He tells His disciples, “but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

May Adonai send out workers into the field. And may He use each of us to expand His kingdom.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who gives the increase so a plentiful harvest may be collected, and provides workers to gather the harvest for His Kingdom.

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The Devine Messiah

Then He (Yeshua) said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:27-28 (NASB)

The apostle Thomas is often remembered as Doubting Thomas. His refusal to believe that Yeshua was resurrected until he actually saw Him, will forever be held against him.

When Yeshua did appear to him and the other disciples in the locked room, He did not condemn or accuse. Instead He gave Thomas exactly what he asked for.

Using the commands “reach,” “see,” and “put” the Messiah overcame his skepticism. The doubting talmidim fell to his knees in worship and proclaimed the risen One to be his L-rd and G-d. The ease this happened with indicates that Thomas was already hopeful, and maybe even eager, to believe that Yeshua was, indeed, the long awaited Son of David.

Normally, being incredulous as Thomas isn’t a bad thing. There are many teachings out there that we should be hesitant to trust. The Scriptures tell us to examine all things, holding on to what is good and shunning what is evil (1 Thes. 5:21).
Thomas, however, had spent years with the Messiah hearing the truth of the Gospel. He should have been ready to accept this without reservation. The miracles and teachings of Yeshua had convinced so many others in a much shorter amount of time. And Thomas had some evidence that what the disciples told him was true due to the resurrection of the saints after the crucifixion.

Instead, he held back, unwilling to put his faith in not only the teacher he just spent years with, but also the Scriptures that he learned during this time.

Until he came face to face with the One who was pierced.

The sight of the Messiah with His wounded hands and side caused his excuses to quickly collapse. At that moment, confronted with the evidence he demanded to see, Thomas became the first apostle to proclaim Yeshua as L-rd and G-d.

For some reason, proclaiming Yeshua as G-d (one with יהוה) is a sticking point with some believers. Just the last few weeks, I’ve come across different Facebook and blogs conversation that question the divinity of our Savior.

Yet the same Greek word, Theos, that frequently applies to Adonai in Scripture is used here to name Yeshua as the Almighty. It is also used by Peter to affirm the deity of the Lamb of G-d in his epistles.

“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Yeshua Messiah, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Yeshua Messiah.” 2 Peter 1:1 (NASB)

So we are confident that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Word of G-d clothed in flesh (John 1:14). He was, and is, and will be (Rev. 1:8).

Thomas accepted the truth of the Gospel and carried it to his death in India, proclaiming the Good News to those in the far east. Let us not be hesitant to share this wherever we are.

Blessed are You, O L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who sent us the Son of David, G-d clothed in flesh, as the atonement for our sins.