October 09, 2012

Kingdom Seed

Mark 4:2-9

“Other seed fell on good soil. It … produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
—Mark 4:8


Christians often become discouraged when they ponder the loss of Christian values in some parts of the world today. Christianity seems to be dwindling backward rather than speeding forward. At such times it is important to meditate on this parable about kingdom seed.

The seed that fell on the first three types of soil failed to produce a harvest. When the crowd heard Jesus describing three failures to produce lasting fruit, they likely figured the story was finished. But Jesus surprised his audience by contrasting the three failures with three gigantic successes.

At first glance it seems that the story contains a fourfold structure—the seed falls on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, and finally on good soil. But a closer look reveals that the thirty, sixty, and hundredfold harvest balance the three losses. Human failure is contrasted with divine success. Kingdom seed keeps on sprouting and producing fruit.

Sometimes it seems that every story we hear centers on the hard hearts of people toward the gospel, or on shallow lives that wander from the truth, or on crowded, thorny hearts that squelch spiritual growth. But the surprise in the parable remains true today. The Lord’s kingdom seed has multiplication power. An unexpected harvest of abundance is what Jesus promises to each of us who hear the parable. Believe the gospel and live abundantly!

Lord, we believe your kingdom seed is growing and you will keep multiplying your harvest of righteousness. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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