This is part 3 of a multi-part series on the book of Mark.
Today, we’re in Mark 4:26-29.
Now the Kingdom of God is compared to a man scattering seeds on the ground (4:26). The man is clearly not God in this parable because he sleeps and rises and lives out his days while the seed sprouts and grows into a full ear of grain (4:27).
Jesus says very clearly that the earth brings forth the grain by itself (4:28, Greek: automatos – bet you can’t guess what that word means!). Jesus doesn’t even say God causes the growth: He created the earth to do this and is comfortable giving the earth the credit under God’s sovereignty. Like a king who conquered in the Old Testament (when the physical work was done by the army and not the king), the biblical concept of authority allowed for the earth to get credit while acknowledging that its Creator is sovereign over all processes He created.
When the Kingdom is fully grown, it will be harvested. Without being 100% confident, I believe Jesus’ meaning is that He is at work around us without our knowing exactly what He is doing, yet we are certainly involved in the process. We plant and He grows; it’s a partnership. Paul agrees with this from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+3%3A6-9&version=NIV. Yet, when the fullness of the Kingdom has been brought forth, the harvest will come and with it—a massive feast and celebration.
Jesus could also be referring to Himself as the grain that gets harvested. For us to enjoy the harvest, something had to die (the grain). He has put even into nature the concept of dying to bring life. Let us rejoice in His death and resurrection that brings us fullness of life forevermore!
The work you do every day, whether in B4T or not, is meant to be planting seeds that grow into God’s Kingdom around you. As you wake up and think about blessing others with the work of your hands and allowing profit to flow from that hard work (rather than focusing on how to get rich) you will be building on the foundation of His Kingdom and exercising dominion correctly within God’s good world. This is worKship.
Greg is the President of OPEN USA. He used his education to work as a tentmaker in the Middle East for 8.5 years seeking to plant a church amongst a least-reached people group. Currently back in the USA with his wife and children, they aim to return to finish what the LORD used them to start.
To learn more about B4T, read Business for Transformation by Patrick Lai.