The aim of this devotional study is to consider the growth and impact of the reign of God in a person or community’s life.
26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”
Observations and reflections
- Identify the two parables of Jesus in the Text above, and retell it in your own words.
- Consider the first parable quoted above (v26-29):
- Recall to memory the more well-known sower-parable with the four soil-types (Mark 4:3-20). What are the big differences between the two parable?
- What is the emphasis of the sower-parable quoted above (v26-29)? [hint: what does the sower not know?]
- What does the sower desire from his act of sowing?
- In this parable, what is the seed, the ground, the grain and the harvest?
- Consider the second parable quoted above (v30-32):
- What is the emphasis of this parable?
- In this parable, what is the seed, the other plants, and the birds?
- Compare the two parables:
- What are the big differences between the two parables and what do we learn about the Kingdom of God from it?
- What are the similarities between the two parables and what do we learn about the Kingdom of God from it?
Personal reflections and application
Jesus frequently compared the Kingdom of God to a seed being sown, producing a big harvest or big tree for shelter. Without the sower scattering the seed to the ground, there will be no harvest, yet the sower does not have the power to cause the growth itself.
- “Without the sower there will be no big harvest, no big tree.”
- With whom have you recently shared the Gospel of Christ? What was their response?
- How does this parable challenge your habit of sharing the “Gospel of the Kingdom” with people?
- Consider a picture of “a big Kingdom-mustard tree” from Paul and Silas’ first visit to Thessalonica.
Acts 17:6-7 But when they did not find [Paul and Silas], they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king–Jesus.”
- Think about the words “they have turned the world upside-down… acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king – Jesus”. What can the Gospel of Jesus do in your neighborhood, city or nation? Dream a bit.
- Pray for revival, and for boldness to share Jesus today.
Jesus trialed as King – “no threat” – yet his kingdom toppled the Roman empire.