Thursday, January 31, 2019

Parable of the Growing Seed

A study on Jesus' parable of the growing seed  and a look at it's application in: 1) the growth of the Kingdom, 2) evangelism, and 3) spiritual growth.

Parable of the Growing Seed
God controls the growth
Mark 4:26-29
John 4:34-38
1 Corinthians 3:5-8
Philippians 1:3-6
  • Introduction
  • Kingdom of God
  • About Parables
  • Parables of Matthew 13
  • Parable of the Growing Seed
  • Growth of the Kingdom
  • Evangelism
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Conclusion
Story: kid playing piano
  • God is often working behind the scenes to make our outcome exceed our ability


About Unchained Disciples

Examine and challenge different doctrines
  • Address views that differ from our own
Examine the scripture in the context of:
  • The situation in which the scripture occurs
  • The time period and culture
  • The rest of the bible
Teach the whole counsel of the gospel
  • Grace and Love / righteous and judgment
  • Good works / relationship with God
  • Heaven / Hell
  • God and Angels / Satan and demons
  • Faith / Prosperity / Favor
  • Giants / New World Order
Ask questions and make comments
  • You can bring up contrary views
  • Your goal shouldn't be to win everyone over to your belief


The Kingdom of God

Different than What the Jews Were Expecting

Jesus taught a different kingdom than the Jews expected
  1. The Jews expected the Messiah to be a human who would take dominion
  2. Not a takeover of the Roman government by force
  3. The king and the kingdom are united by faith and not by politics or culture
  4. The kingdom is spiritual and not geopolitical
What does it mean to enter the Kingdom?
  • “Kingdom” means “reign”
  • God’s reign over the hearts of men
  • Allowing Jesus to be Lord over every part of your life
  • When you abide in Jesus and He abides in you

What We Know About the Kingdom of God

  • “Kingdom of God” is the same as “Kingdom of Heaven”
  • “Kingdom of God” means reign or rule of God
  • It doesn’t mean a future Heaven
  • The Kingdom became partially accessible when Jesus died and sent the Holy Spirit
  • Already, but not yet…
  • The Kingdom of God is here but not yet fully accessible by us
  • It will be fully accessible after the end of the age
  • The plan for God’s future Kingdom is the same as what He intended with Adam and Eve
  • To have His will implemented upon the earth through mankind

About Parables

parable is a succinct, story that illustrates one or more lessons or principles.
  • A parable is a type of analogy
  • A parable has a surface story and a deeper meaning
  • A simple story helps to explain a more complex or hidden story  

How We’re Analyzing the Parables

The parables weren’t written down, so it wasn’t something Jesus expected you to study
  • The emphasis was on the one or two main points that the parable illustrates
  • Although those points may have many applications to our lives
We are reading the parables to first and foremost understand what Jesus was teaching.  
  • See what was said and what was left out
  • Once we understand what Jesus was teaching we can compare it with other biblical writings
We won’t dismiss a clear teaching of Jesus because it contradicts our doctrinal views.

Parables of Matthew 13

We have looked at 8 parables about the Kingdom of God in Matthew 13
  1. Sower/Soils
  2. Wheat and Weeds
  3. Leaven
  4. Mustard Seed
  5. Hidden Treasure
  6. Pearl
  7. Dragnet
  8. Householder

Parable of the Sower/Soils

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus tells us about 4 types of soil:
  1. The Path
  2. Rocky Soil
  3. The Thorns
  4. Good Soil
Jesus said that this parable is the key to understanding all of the parables.
Main Points:
  1. Whether or not someone accepts the message of the Kingdom is determined by the condition of their heart
  2. Things that impact whether someone enters the Kingdom include:
  • The enemy
  • Chasing worldly success
  • Cares of the world

Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

  • Some people will appear to be in the Kingdom but they are not
  • These people are actually supporting the enemy
  • We don’t need to identify the wicked people now because the angels will remove them at the end of the age

Parable of the Leaven

  • There will be opposition from within the Kingdom
  • Wrong teaching, and false doctrine will get mixed throughout the Kingdom

Parable of the Mustard Seed

  • The Kingdom started small and grew rapidly
  • There will be external opposition to the Kingdom

Parable of the Hidden Treasure

  • Some will find the Kingdom unexpectedly
  • They will discover that the value of the Kingdom surpasses the sum total of their worldly possessions and take possession of the Kingdom

Parable of the Pearl

  • Some are searching for the Kingdom and will give up everything else when they find it

Parable of the Dragnet

  • The message of the Kingdom will be appealing to many people
  • The wicked will be separated from the righteous at the end of the age  

Parable of the Householder

  • If you are a student of both the Old Testament and the Kingdom teaching then you understand truths not understood by others

Parable of the Growing Seed

  • Only found in The book of Mark
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."

Observations about the Parable

Example: Some seeds grow better when...
  • Planted in a pot and replant
  • Planted in rows
  • Scattered (Sepp Holzer)

Similar to the Parable of the Soils

Similar to the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:2-9.
  • The main point of that one was that whether the Kingdom grows in you or not  is based on the condition of your heart
This one is different because
  • The sower is not Jesus
  • The sower wasn’t aware of what was going on
  • We are the sowers
  • In the parable of the wheat and weeds, the angels were the reapers
  • The sower is the reaper here
  • We are the reapers
This is a different analogy
growth is at the center of the kingdom
The focus was that:
  • There is a process to the growth; it’s not immediate
  • The soil produces crops even though the sower didn’t understand how
Main Point: God causes the growth of the Kingdom - not us
We’ll examine its application in 3 areas:
  • Growth of the Kingdom
  • Evangelism
  • Spiritual growth

The Growth of the Kingdom

In this parable Jesus is not so much explaining the conditions of growth in a person but the conditions of growth of the kingdom in earth.
  • The seed is the Kingdom
The emphasis of the story is how the Kingdom of God spreads on earth
  • We can plant seeds of the Kingdom but we don’t control the actual growth
  • We don’t understand how the growth happens
  • It’s God’s job to make the seeds grow

The Harvest

John 4:34-38
34Jesus explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. 35Do you not say, ‘There are still four months until the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.
36Already the reaper draws his wages and gathers a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together. 37For in this case the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the hard work, and now you have taken up their labor.”

We Are the Reapers

  • Jesus told the disciples that they were not the sowers but the reapers
  • Jesus talks about Himself being a reaper
  • “I will do the will of Him that sent me and finish His work”
  • God had already started the work

We Are Gathering a Crop for Eternal Life

  • Reaping is gathering the crop for eternal life
  • The seeds had been planted


Story: Street preacher and dreadlocks guy
  1. The street preacher didn’t plant the seed
  2. Backslider or someone else planted the seed

God Causes the Growth

  • It’s not a result of our effort
1 Corinthians 3:5-8
5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
  • The Sower is just a servant
  • The teacher is just a servant  
  • The pastor is just a servant  
  • They are just servants used to plant and water
  • God causes the growth

Don’t Focus on the Servant

We should not make celebrities of pastors or hold them in higher esteem than an every day Christian. Whatever growth their ministry has is not attributed to them. It is God who gave the increase if it is of God. We are all just servants of Christ who scatter the seeds.  But God is the one who gives the growth.
A hard thing to realize in ministry is that we are not in control of the growth. God is.
  • A church is reaping the harvest of someone else's seed
  • When we bring someone to church the church is reaping the seed you planted
The servants will be rewarded based their labor

Not everyone has the same assignment

  • One plants another waters
God doesn’t have the same assignment for everyone.
  • There is a gift of evangelism
  • There is a gift of teaching
  • There is a gift of service
  • Gifts of: prophecy, tongues
  • Work in your gifting

Don’t Focus on the Numbers

The numbers don’t matter
  • He did what God commanded him to do.
It’s hard not to focus on numbers
  • We have our own idea of what success looks like
  • We have our own idea of what to good harvest should be
We need to do what God tells us regardless of the result
Example. God told me not to publicize this Bible study
  • Some weeks there’s just one person
  • Get In Sunday was the first time it was publicly announced

Spiritual Growth

The parable leaves out any effort from the farmer

Sometimes a farmer has to:
  • Dig the ground
  • Water
  • Fertilize it
  • Make sure it gets sun
But the parable leaves that out and it happens automatically.
In order to grow spiritually we make an effort to
  • pray and  fast
  • build a relationship with Christ
  • go to church
  • tithe
And we should do all of that
But Jesus is reminding us that God is also at work independent of our effort.
The parable is talking about God being at work without us even noticing it or having any understanding about it.

You Can’t Save Yourself

You can’t do enough to save yourself
Only God can save us
He saves us by grace

Sanctification is a Process

  • It’s not instantaneous
Philippians 1:3-6
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
  • The work has begun but it is not complete
  • It’s not something that immediately happens then it’s done
  • You’re not totally sanctified over night
Example: Paul (Unchained Disciples)
  • God may take some things away immediately
  • It’s still a process to become holy
The caution is that we not be impatient.

Quit Beating Yourself Up

Some of you need to quit beating yourself up
  • I’m not what I should be
  • I’m not what I want to be
  • I’m not what I could be
  • But I’m not what I used to be
When the enemy tells you you’re a sinner remember that that’s why Christ died for you
  • The enemy wants you to focus on what you’re doing wrong

Turn it Over to Jesus

Why am I not further along than where I am?
  • Why do I keep doing this same thing over and over again?
  • How did I let Satan trick me again?
It’s not all up to you
  • God is working on your heart.
  • Just keep showing up
Some have been taught that growth only happens when you make it happen
  • That’s not true
  • There needs to be a point when you say that only God can do it.
  • But you have to want Him to do it

You Can’t Judge the Growth in Others

The word of God is
  • Seed
  • Mirror
  • Sword
Mirror - many people read the bible and see someone else
  • You should see yourself
That is why we cannot judge someone else by their behavior  
  • We can’t judge whether someone is saved or not.
  • We don’t know about the work that God is doing that is unknown to us
  • We don’t know about the work that God is doing that is unknown to them.
We can’t make a determination whether someone is growing or not.
  • We can’t see what is going on in their heart we can only see their outward actions

God is At Work in the Dirt

The seed gets planted in the dirt
  • No matter what you’ve been doing no matter how dark and dirty your life has been in if the seed is planted then God is at work.
  • People want to think that a clean and pristine exterior is the evidence of God.
  • But this parable tells you different.


The gospel of the Kingdom of God tells us that God had an original plan to rule the earth through Adam and Eve.  He gave them dominion over all the other beings on the planet.  They were supposed to implement God’s will on earth.  Our future destiny is that we will rule the earth  with Jesus.  
God wants to use us as the agents who implement His will.  God could have implanted the message of the kingdom in many ways, but He chose to use us.  But God alone is responsible for the growth.
God uses us to spread His message and plant seeds.  He then grows those seeds at His chosen time.  Knowing that it is up to God takes the pressure off of us.  We can help by creating conditions to help seeds grow.
Similarly we can create conditions in our own lives and our own hearts that help us to mature spiritually.  But we must also remember that God is also at work even when we ourselves don’t notice it.  
We need to remember that Jesus doesn’t come to you saying – stop it or you’ll go to hell.  He said because you can’t stop it I’m going to come and die for you.   Jesus came to help you change.
“Look at where you came from
And now look at where you are
I ain’t saying that we made it
But we made it this far”
  --Came From by Caleb McCoy
Instructor: Michael Leadon



Extra Content

Mark 4
  21 And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? 22“For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. 23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25“For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”


Yes God is the God of grace, but Grace is only relevant where there is judgment. If God did not judge that you were a sinner if God did not judge that what you did was the sea and then there would be no need for Grace. Grace only shows up when there is a judgment.
Judgment is determining what is good and what is evil. Judgment is not just deciding on the consequences that happen because of the evil acts. Or deciding the rewards that come from the good ask. Most people talk about judgment as a bad thing and that goes to show that they are only focusing on their sin. Got also judges when you follow him and do his will.
You get judged for your good deeds and your bad deeds. Christ only wiped away your bad days. So you should be looking forward to judgment.


Rev 14
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, " Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe."
16 Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
How we grow spiritually
  1. Spiritual People
  2. Spiritual practises
  3. Spiritual experiences


John 6:44
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
  • It’s not up to us to save other people
  • We plant the seed and God will take it from there.
Remember, Noah? He preached for many years, and yet, when the flood finally came, there were only eight people who were spared from the great flood.
Noah is considered a great man of faith because he did what God told him regardless of the results

Advancing the Kingdom

It’s Not Our Job to Usher in the Kingdom

  • It’s not our job to bring Heaven to earth
  • It’s our job to plant seeds
  • It’s our job to water those seeds
  • Evangelizing and discipling
This shows us that it is not the responsibility of Christians to usher in the kingdom
  • Jesus or the apostles never use language like “building the Kingdom”
  • They talk about “entering the Kingdom”
  • The growth is in the hands of God

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