THE GROWING SEED – JESUS’ PARABLES: Mark 4:26-29

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SCRIPTURE

Mark 4:26-29 26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

BIG IDEA

Within Jesus’ parable of the growing seed, we can learn at least three things about the Christian life. 

First, we learn that the Christian life is organic, not mechanical. Jesus comes not to simply put pressure on our will, but to change our hearts—changing us from the inside out. Religious change is mechanical, so to speak. Religion says, “Change the outside and then the inside will be clean. Start doing more and trying harder, then you will have life.” Gospel change is far different. The Gospel says, “Trust Jesus and His work alone inwardly, and be cleansed freely by grace. Then watch how you will change outwardly.” 

Second, the Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. Jesus says once the gospel takes root in us, there’s a process by which we will grow and bear fruit. It’s not always immediate and flashy. Jesus is saying, “I’m not interested in making you something immediately flashy or what the world looks on as marvelous. I’m interested in changing you from the inside out, so you produce real, lasting fruit. You will be what I’ve saved you to be.” 

Lastly, the Christian life is personal, but not private. We all need a personal relationship with Jesus through faith, but our relationship must not remain private. We are to “scatter the seed” by telling people the gospel, being public witnesses of Jesus to the world. Just as Jesus went public with His ministry, being killed for our salvation, so we should go public so others can experience the same transforming power of Christ. 

DISCUSSION

1. Was there anything from the sermon, big idea, or Mark 4:26–29 that stood out to you? challenged you? or confused you? 

2. What do you think Jesus is getting at in verse 27-28? Does this mean we should simply sit back idly and expect God to grow us? 

The Christian life is organic, not mechanical. Jesus comes not to simply put pressure on our will, but to change our hearts—changing us from the inside out. 

3. What is the difference between religious change and gospel change? Can you give real life examples? What times in your life have you changed but it was for religious reasons rather than gospel reasons? 

Jesus is saying, “I’m not interested in making you something immediately flashy or what the world looks on as marvelous. I’m interested in changing you from the inside out, so you produce real, lasting fruit. You will be what I’ve saved you to be.” 

4. How does Psalm 1:1-4 depict growth as a believer? How is this like what Jesus says here in Mark 4? 

The Christian life is personal, but not private. We all need a personal relationship with Jesus through faith, but our relationship must not remain private. 

5. What does it look like to be “public” as a Christian? By implication, what does Jesus say we as Christians are to be doing? How would this look in your every day life? 

6. Make sure and pray for one another individually. 

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