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Seed of the Kingdom

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Seed of the Kingdom

Mark 4:1-20

1Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. 2He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."

 9Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

 10When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that,

 13Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14The farmer sows the word. 15Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."

How does the power of the seed released?

It is released by going in deep.

Verse 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow

It is depth problem.

The first soil does not product life because it does not go in at all

The second soil does not product life because it does not go deep enough

The third soil interestingly enough the seed goes in deep but only at the level of the weeds.   Other concerns are just as important.

In every case the gospel does not go deep enough.

Verse 9Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

What is Jesus saying, the way this incredible this power is release in life is by taking the information the word of God by listening thinking and discussing and working it in over and over. 

The deeper it goes the more of life it produces

But its not the kind of power many of us think.

When we think of Power we think of dynamite explosive strong power.

But it is not that at all.  In fact this power in its paradoxical form

The power is found in its weakness

Just think about the image Jesus uses for the word of God.

He does not choose, by the way he could because these were symbols used for word in the old testament.

He does not choose an image of word of God as hammer, fire, sword.

A seed, and seed is weak.

A little thing like seed.

You don’t drop a seed and say bombs away because you drop a seed you cannot even find the seed.

Because hammer cruses its opposition and fire blast sword slash through resistance.

Why would Jesus characterize the gospel as weak as a seed.

Illustration: In an acorn, a single acorn has a power to produce one tree who can produce a forest that cover the whole earth.

Power of evangelism.

First I would like to look at PARABLES IN GENERAL

Parables were not just story to illustrate a moralistic point but were in fact, disturbing stories that often threatened and shattered their worldview.

In fact, many times after hearing the story they were angry and wanted to arrest Jesus

Matthew 21:45

45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him,

This leads me to wonder as we look at this parable, "What was Jesus seeking to threaten and shake the hearer's worldview?"

 

How did this story threaten their life and ours (our perceptions and our worldviews)? The answer I'm toying with now is "effectiveness".

I cannot help notice the WASTE OF SEED.

In the parable, there were a lot of wasted seed.

Especially during Jesus’ time when seed were expensive to simply waste.  How could such farmer throw these seeds in the ground?

How many farmers today would sow seed as the sower did in the parable? None that I know of. It's just not practical or effective. Too much is wasted.

Verse 3-7

3"A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

This farmer wastefully scatters seeds on the roadside and upon rocks and don’t even clear the thorns before scattering it.

All these wasted seeds seem to go against our ideas of effective ministry.

Maybe that’s the problem. 

With all our static and calculated church planting could we have missed it? 

Maybe evangelism wasn’t meant to be about being calculated

Maybe it’s about scattering.

Maybe that’s why we have so many specialized churches like ours targeting certain groups.  Why is it we don’t have homeless, sick and people unlike ourselves at this church?

Maybe evangelism was meant to be uncalculated and even wasteful scattering wherever possible even among the roadside, upon rocky soil and even among the thorns.

Power and weakness.

Illustration:  Old grave of a king or wealthy man where there was thick marble.  Acorn got in the grave.  Cracked the marble slab.

A acorn if dropped on a marble it will not do anything but if you let it grow it has more power than 100s of horses can do.

The real meaning of the seed.

Upto this point one commenter pointed out that every soil is a way people have response to Jesus.

The first soil is the pharases and religious leaders they have rejected him

Second soil is the crowd, they are happy with him as long as he is doing miracles.

Third soil is his family who is upset that jesus is bring shame to the family.

The parable of the soil is not just a parable about how people respond to the word but how people responded to Jesus.

And Jesus did not come as a hammer, fire or sword.

He came not to judge but to be judged. 

He came not to be strong but weak and to die

Because seed only releases its power if it falls to the grown and die.

Jesus Christ came as ultimate seed.

Jesus himself said in John Chapter 12 only if a seed falls in a grown and dies will it produce life.

But that is the secret of Gospel Power. 

That will change you.  Weakness of the word is the power of the Lord.

The power comes when we allow the seed to be buried deep in our heart.

There is difference between Mechanical growth and organic growth.

Illustration:

Paul and Peter, Paul does not say racism is wrong.  Peter does not way if you keep this up no one will respect you like you and you cannot be an apostle.  Sure peter will change but only mechanically. 

This is not what paul does.  Paul says, peter, you not living inline with the Gospel. Think about what Jesus did. 

Illustration

McDonald.  No one go to MacDonald for food you go for speed.

In the morning devotion “Ex.  Be kind to alien and immigrant for you were alien in Egypt but I brought you out.”

The first clause would be mechanical growth. 

But the second clause “You were alien but I brought you out.”

You know how he brought us out.  Because Jesus said, I have been alien and rejected.

By the time I got upto the counter I was ready to kiss her because of the power of the seed.

His weakness changes me.

It makes me want not have to because of the seas. 

John netwon hymal

Our pleasure and our duty,

Though opposite before;

Since we have seen his beauty,

Are joined to part no more:

It is our highest pleasure,

No less than duty’s call;

To love him beyond measure,

And serve him with our all.

It does not matter addition, fear marable is over you. 

You bring this sead into your life,.  He has the power to roll over the marble in your life.

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