There’s only one parable that is unique to Mark’s gospel and it’s the parable of the growing seed in Mark4 :26-29. In it Mark uses the Greek word automate (where we get automatic) to tells is that all by itself the soil produces corn. We don’t need to feel any pressure about whether people will come to faith as we share the good news – God handles that.
We sow seed and can look for the harvest knowing God will do the rest. That’s one side of the equation God produces the growth. But, we are can limit the size of the harvest – which Jesus addresses in 3 other parables in Mark 4 & 5.
We need to go public about our faith.
In v21-23 Jesus tells us if we do not sow we will not reap. Lamps need to shine out, not be hidden under a bowl. Knowing that only God saves people is not the excuse for us to be lazy like the sluggard of Prov 20:4.
Be generous about our faith
If we sow sparingly we will reap sparingly. Verse 24-25 tells to sow generously. The parable of the sower tells us some seed falls on unfruitful soil – so don’t get discouraged that not everyone says yes to the Lord. Sow more generously, knowing the more we sow the more that falls on good soil.
In v30-32 we see that we need to be expectant – that tiny mustard seed becomes a big plant. Ask questions that reveal whether people are open to the Lord. In John 4 by a well, Jesus asked a Samaritan woman a few questions that resulted in an entire village coming to faith.
Janet’s colleague came the carol service and said yes to Alpha. We were excited and content! But I felt we should ask another colleague who within seconds also replied yes. Keep sowing!
The field are ripe for harvest!
Our job is to be faithful sowing seeds wherever we can and the Lord will do his bit and make our message fruitful automate – all by itself.
Go for it!