Parable of the Growing Seed

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
An illustration of the parable, together with the preceding parable of the lamp under a bushel.

The Parable of the Growing Seed (also called the Seed Growing Secretly) is a parable of Jesus which appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament. According to Mark 4:26-29 it is a parable about growth in the Kingdom of God. It follows the parable of the Sower and the lamp under a bushel, and precedes the parable of the Mustard Seed.

A version of the Parable of the Growing Seed also appears in the non canonical Gospel of Thomas (Saying 21d).[1]

Narrative[edit]

The parable is as follows:

He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how. For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come."

— Mark 4:26-29, World English Bible

Interpretation[edit]

The sower as illustrated in Hortus deliciarum compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace (12th century).

This parable can be seen as related to the parable of the Sower,[2] although it does not follow that parable immediately. One interpretation is that it serves as a "correction provided for any ancient or modern disciples who might be feeling discouraged with the amount of fruitless labor they had extended toward those" who failed to hear the message of which the parable of the Sower spoke.[2] Even when the farmer sleeps, the Kingdom of God is still growing. Its growth is due to God, not man,[3] and follows its own timetable.[4]

Unlike the parable of the Sower, the seed here seems to represent the Kingdom of God itself.[5] Differences in interpretation result from emphasising different aspects of the parable, such as the seed, the sower, or the earth.[6]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation and Patterson/Meyer translation.
  2. ^ a b George R. Knight, Exploring Mark: A Devotional Commentary, Review and Herald Pub Assoc, 2004, ISBN 0-8280-1837-5, pp. 107-108.
  3. ^ Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables, Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, p. 97.
  4. ^ James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, Eerdmans, 2002, ISBN 0-85111-778-3, pp. 142-144.
  5. ^ Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus, Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, p. 213.
  6. ^ Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus, Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, pp. 184-190.