Mark 4:26-30

Mark 4:26 (KJB)
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

This is the second parable which Jesus spoke to the crowd and it follows on the heels of the parable of the Sower. There are three basic aspects to the growth of the natural seed. First the seed is planted or sown, then there comes a period of growth, and then when the plant is fully grown or tree is ripe, then comes the time of harvest. In the same manner is the Kingdom of God. First someone sows the seed of the word of God among the people. Then secondly those who become saved continue to mature in the word or we can say that they continue to grow in the word which could be a period of years. Then thirdly when they have completed their full ministry, then they are harvested, that is, brought to Heaven by means of physical death. This could also mean that when the last day comes, then all the church will be harvested. The key is that the seed must fall on the good ground, ground which has been tilled and cleared of rocks which prepares it for planting and growth. Just as God prepares His Elect to hear the word on their appointed day.

Mark 4:27 (KJB)
And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

Of the three different aspects of growth of a seed, probably the most mysterious is the aspect of growth. It is a great mystery how a very small seed can go into the ground and then germinate and grow into a very large plant hundreds of times bigger than the seed. We can think of a watermelon which is hundreds of times bigger than the small seed which goes into the ground. We plant the seed and then we sleep. This is not some kind of natural or soul sleep, in other words, we plant the seed and do nothing more to facilitate its growth. We may pull a weed here or there and maybe water it, but the actual way the seed turns into a plant and then grows is a process which human hands has nothing to do with. In the spiritual realm, we plant the seed of the word of God in people and if there are the Elect of God in the crowd, then it is God who brings about the growth from seed to maturity. (1 Cor 3:6 KJV) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. Paul gives that principle very well in 1 Cor. 3:6.

Mark 4:28 (KJB)
For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

God has placed in the soil of the earth the ability to turn seed into a full plant. The Greek word behind “of herself” is where we derive our English word “automatic from.” So from the time the seed is planted, the earth begins to work on the seed automatically. After a while, there will be a small blade or a very young plant which tells us everything is going along fine and that the seed germinated properly. Then a few weeks later, we will begin to see the ear of the corn start forming on the stalk. Then a few weeks after that, we will see the full corn in the ear and then we will know it will be ready to harvest.

Mark 4:29 (KJB)
But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

As soon as the laborers in the field see the fruit in its maturity stage, then they know that the fruit is ready to be harvested. This third aspect is the completion of the mystery of the Kingdom of God and that is the harvest. (Mat 13:39 KJV) The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. The harvest will come on the last day when the last one has become saved. (Rev 14:16 KJV) And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. The harvest is going to be a very quick action on the last day. The role of the one who sowed the word of God is limited to the sowing of the word for the growth and the harvest are both in the hands of God.

Mark 4:30 (KJB)
And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

Jesus then asks what shall we liken the kingdom of God to? Then He asks a second question, to what shall we compare it to? Jesus uses these two questions for the purpose of introducing the next parable. These questions are designed for the people to think about what aspect of this earth will Jesus compare the kingdom of God to while teaching the heavenly meaning. The parables normally have one main point to them and within that truth reveals a characteristic about the kingdom God.