Seeds – Part of God’s Garden
Recently I was asked if you could assess the planting of spiritual seeds, this was part of my answer.
To start with a study of seeds you must realize that the Father is a gardener at heart, after all that was where He first put Man, and He would walk around and enjoy His handiwork. So I feel it is always fair to view the Kingdom as a garden where there are all sorts of plants each having its own purpose for being there. Gardens can have different sections and purposes but still be considered a single garden.
The spiritual planting of seeds is discussed well in Mark 4 where three different stories are used that all talk about seeds. The chapter has a version of the Parable of The Sower (4:1 – 20), an analogy of the Kingdom of God with the man who does not work for the crop (4: 26 – 29), and a second analogy where the Kingdom of God is compared to a mustard seed (4:30 – 32). I will also use Matthew 13:24 – 30 which explains how to handle bad seeds.
The Parable of the Sower is a great way to assess the spiritual planting of seed because Jesus, the Master Teacher, explains the parable for the disciples and us so there is no mistake about its meaning. The seed on the path represents people who hear the Word but Satan steals it. The seed on rocky ground was received with joy but shriveled quickly when trouble came. The unfruitful seed was sown into a place where worries and desires became more important, producing nothing. But the seed on good soil multiplied itself and produced more seeds. It is worth noting here that the seed on the good ground was also the majority of the seed planted in the field. The “how” can we assess seed in this parable is done all the same way; it has to be allowed to start growing.
This idea brings in Mark 4:26 – 29 and Matthew 13:24 – 30 where the seed has been planted and has been allowed to grow. In Mark, it is recognized that the framer’s job was to just plant the seed and the seed does the rest of the work until harvest time comes. In Matthew, another problem with growing seed is covered in the fact that bad seed will at times be forced in with the good. This parable shows the great love and patience of God in that He allows the bad seeds to grow because He knows that
sometimes if you pull “weeds” you can kill the developing good plant.
The size of the seed plus what type of seed was sown and what we can expect is shown in the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Seed will produce exactly what kind of plant it has come from. God can use a variety of seeds to produce the crops He needs to fill His barn. The mustard seed may have been small but what it produced was useful and needed. The plant mentioned in the parable may have been a Sinapis nigra or a Salvadora perscia.
The only way a farmer knows if his seed is any good is to wait for it to grow and produce a crop. It is the same with a teacher of the Word; the only way we know if our spiritual seed sowing has been good is when we assess the crop.