The Unseen Growth and Sudden End
This is the only parable that Mark alone relates to us. The Kingdom of God literally means the reign of God, the day when His will is done as perfectly on earth as it is in heaven. That is the goal of God for the whole universe. This parable is short but it is filled with unmistakable truths.
Actually, this is the second parable Jesus used to teach the crowd. It followed logically from the Parable of the Sower (4:10). It answered the implied question, "How is it that any seed grows on any soil?" Jesus' analogy suggests that just as there are three aspects to the growth of a natural seed, so also with the growth of a spiritual seed:
"So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground." Once the sower has done his work, much then depends on the receptiveness of the soil. But even this has an element of mystery to it.
Of the three aspects of this parable, the emphasis is clearly on the mystery of the growth. The Greek reads literally, "how not knows he." The analogy cannot be pressed to mean that Jesus as the Sower does not know how the seed grows. It is the audience to whom Jesus was speaking that needed instruction about the mystery of the kingdom of God. And a mystery it is indeed.
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