The Resting Farmer (Mark 4:26-28)

The Kingdom is alien to our world and much of what most consider Christianity today, making it essentially unusual, contrary, remote, inappropriate and incompatible with our norms. Thus, a mind-shift is needed for a life-shift until the alien becomes native.

Consider Mark 4:26-28 in The Message

“…Jesus said, ‘God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!'”

The Passion Translation says…

“…God’s kingdom realm is like someone spreading seed on the ground. He goes to bed and gets up, day after day, and the seed sprouts and grows tall, though he knows not how. All by itself it sprouts, and the soil produces a crop; first the green stem, then the head on the stalk, and then the fully developed grain in the head. Then, when the grain is ripe, he immediately puts the sickle to the grain, because harvest time has come.”

Now, 5 points to ponder…

  1. The Kingdom — the realm and rule of the King — comes and grows through the sowing of seed, which is Christ. And how is it sown? Through inspired (in-Spirited) speech and actions. And, oh, to consider the effortlessness of scattering seed. It isn’t a fight or struggle of any sort but a simple giving of potential for life, growth, fruitfulness and nourishment.
  2. The Seed sprouts and grows through rest, not labor, through surrender, not attentiveness. And when we rest, there is no anxiety or concern of any kind, only peacefulness and a simple leaning into His life.
  3. The sprouting of the Seed doesn’t need us to know “how” it grows. We are only sowers. So, understanding the “how” of how God work’s isn’t our concern, nor is it necessary. We need only sow and “forget about it.” Just as “a watched pot never boils”, a watched Seed never sprouts. The ability and power of LIFE is in the Seed, not the sower. In it’s time — whether after many days, weeks, months or years — morning will come, without our aid and anxiety.
  4. Just as a seed doesn’t grow by watching, the Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation (Luke 17:20). It isn’t the sort of thing you can watch for. Instead, it grows, like the Stone in Daniel 2:31-45 that was cut from a mountain “without human hands”, that struck the image of the kingdoms of men and grew into “a great mountain” that “filled the whole earth.” And just as the potential for the plant exists within the seed in the ground and appears in time, the Kingdom exists in Christ in you and is revealed in time rather than in a single event. Plus, just as the seed already planted does not need to “come” but needs simply to reveal its contents, the Kingdom too is already inside you and around you and doesn’t need to “come” to you (by some future event) but needs simply to be revealed from the ground that is you and those around you (Luke 17:21).
  5. Not only are we promised that the Seed will sprout but that it will also mature, “First the plant [blade; stalk] grows, then the head, and then all the [the ripe] grain in the head.” (Expanded Bible Translation) As I mull over this sentence, I see three things. First, these three levels of growth can be laid over the three rooms of Moses’ Tabernacle, the three feasts of Israel, the “excellent (three-fold) things” of Proverbs 22:20-21, and so many other “threes” in scripture, which is an expansive revelation in itself (see for yourself by clicking here). Second, “the head” speaks to me of when we are connected to our head, Christ, so that He becomes our head, our leader; at this level of spiritual development, we no longer trust our head (our own way of thinking) or anyone else’s (human leadership), but we put our trust in Him. Third, “[the ripe] grain in the head” speaks of the full (“ripe”) acquisition of the renewed mind of Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 4:23, where “[the ripe] grain” of Christ is “in the head” of the saint so that their mind is fully possessed by the mind of Christ.

In the Young’s Literal Translation, this parable starts with Jesus saying, “Thus is the reign of God”, meaning that this parable explains what the reign of God looks like and how it works. So, if you’re looking for the Kingdom of God to be revealed and expressed in your home or workplace or anywhere else, let this parable light your path. As you go about each moment of your day, sow seed by the Spirit and then rest, knowing that…

“…My word that goes out from my mouth… will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it… No word from God will ever fail.” Isaiah 55:11 and Luke 1:37, New International Version

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