Mark 4:26-29 The Seed Grows.
Jesus’ parables were concerning “the kingdom of God” (v. 26a). He was more than just another religious teacher throwing his theories into the intellectual atmosphere. He was proclaiming his present and future reign of the kingdom of God. It is this kingdom which “is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground” (v. 26b). The fishers and others whom he had chosen to be his apostles and disciples, were as the farmer who simply scatters the seed, having some part, as seen earlier, in the proper preparation of the soil (4:1-9). However, the farmer has no power over the seed. In fact, as much as modern man understands about agriculture, he ultimately does not know why there is this life latent in the seed. Such is the word of God. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
If God, through human instrumentality or not, prepares the soil and scatters the seed of the word, it is God alone who gives the increase, that he might be glorified (Jn. 4:37; I Cor. 3:5-7). The preacher or evangelist, like the farmer, rests after the soil is prepared and the seed is sown, to see God’s power at work in what they hope will eventually be a bountiful harvest, in this case a harvest of people for the kingdom (v. 27). There is also this almost magical power in the soil as well, but unlike magic it is real, and every farmer depends upon it, as he depends on this seeming latent power in the seed (v. 28). Who can but marvel at the birth of all creatures from seed sown, and the growth process that continues to take place? How much more that which is invisible, giving visible expression in fruit bearing of a changed life. We ought not to marvel then that Jesus said one must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:1-17 Cf. I Pet. 1:23). The Lord looks for a harvest springing from the ministry of the word (v. 29).