The Growth of the Seed
Translated by Allan Liang
Brothers and sisters, in the earlier parable found in Mark concerning the scattering of seeds, we saw that the determining factor to growth and bearing of fruit depended on the ground it landed on. Only the seed on good soil was capable of bearing fruit, and it is the case that all true Christians will bear fruit. This time, Jesus discussed a problem concerning the growth of seeds. When it is said that “the seeds sprout and grow, though he does not know how,” it is meant that spiritual growth belongs to God, and is not something we can fully understand. We can see the growth of a plant, but we cannot fully understand how it grows. In actual life, we may see that though the same seeds are planted in the same soil, some seeds may grow taller and bear fruit more abundantly, whereas other seeds may not grow as well, bearing few, if any, fruits. No one can say for certain what is the cause of this difference. There is a similar phenomenon that occurs in the seed of the gospel. When we share the gospel to a particular person but he has not responded, we may become frustrated, and fear that we may not have explained things as clearly as we have ought. Other times, we may seek methods to artificially induce growth, so that an unbeliever may more quickly come to Christ, or perhaps a Christian may sooner reach a stage of spiritual growth. Concerning these matters, we are to understand this: what is our principle duty? The apostle Paul says “I sowed, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). Therefore, sowing and watering is our duty, so is sharing the gospel to unbelievers, praying for them, leading believers in worship, reading scripture and attending bible study, and particularly in this time of pandemic, praying for the spiritual welfare of our brothers and sisters and our neighbors… all this is part of our duty. Now, as to how another person’s spiritual life grows and the speed at which it grows, we have no precise knowledge, for only God knows all this. We can do assistive work on the side, but it is God who makes them grow. May God help us learn to wait on Him, and learn to accept ourselves and others, this being of crucial importance. Once we understand all this, may God help us treat with more patience the brothers and sisters who appear to grow at a slower pace, and may we become a good listener, a helper and perhaps even a mentor to them. What is important is even if we have done much gospel work, we have no control over the spiritual lives of others, but rather we must wait patiently to witness the power of gospel which produces fruit a hundredfold in them. Glory be to God. Please meditate with prayer: All things must submit to God’s timing, rather than our own wishes. We must not become frustrated in our preaching of the gospel, but rather let us pray for the Spirit’s guidance.