by Nick Lica

Mk 4:26-29 – The small seed produce big harvest

(The Parable of the Growing Seed)


The setting of this parable appears to be the same occasion in which Jesus told... a. The parable of "The Sower" - cf. Mk 4:1-20 b. The parable of "The Mustard Seed" - cf. Mk 4:30-32 ...therefore it was at the point in Jesus' ministry when He begin to teach publicly in parables

The parable of the seed growing secretly is found onlyt in the gospel of Mark. Nothing is said about soil, preparation, rainfall, sunshine,weed control, or organic fartilizer. The life of the farmer seems to parallel that of sowing seed,, sleeping at night, and becoming active in the morning. The farmer can  not explain the growth and developeent. He is  only a worker who at the proper time sows and reaps. God holds the secret of life. God is in control. He is iat work  in the seed’s germination, its growth, development, and riping proces. The fruit is the result of the seed.

Christian Schwarz in the book Natural church Development (page 12) writes about this parable: This parable clearly shows what people can and should do, and what they cannot do. They should sow the harvest, they may sleep and rise. What they canot ever  dois this: they cannot bring forth the fruit. Most comentators agree that  this „by itself“ is the key for understanding this parable. The term „by itself“ is in Greek automate-leterally traslated it means „automatic“. Thus  this passage from Mark explicitly speaks of „growth automatisms!“  In the contest of the parable, the word means simly „with  no apparent cause“, and the  underlying thought is „performed by God Himself“.


  1. A. THE WORD OF GOD IS A POWERFUL "SEED" that is doing the work in us by    itself.
  2. It can cause us to be "born again" - 1 Pe 1:22-25; Ja 1:18
  3. It can help us to "grow" - 1 Pe 2:1-2
  4. It can indeed "save your souls" - Ja 1:21 -- All of this is possible because the Word of God is living and powerful, filled with Spirit-giving life - He 4:12; Jn 6:63
  6. By receiving it into our own hearts - Personal spiritual growth of the kingdom of God in our lives. We must receive it properly

1) With a good and noble heart - Lk 8:15; cf. Ac 17:11

2) With meekness - Ja 1:21

3) As babies longing for their mothers' milk - 1 Pe 2:2 -- All the while "laying aside" those things that would "choke" out the Word in our lives- cf. Ja 1:21; 1 Pe 2:1 When so received, growth will occur

The growth is gradual process "first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head..." - Mk 4:28 -- Therefore the need to continue to feed upon the Word of God, "that you may grow thereby" - 1 Pe 2:2

  1. By sowing it as far and wide as we possibly can. Growth of the kingdom of God in the world
    1. Like the sower in the parable of "The Sower", we must sow the seed everywhere

1)      Growth comes only through the divine power of the seed

2)      a) It is God who gives the increase

3)       b) We are simply "seed-throwers" and "water-boys" - cf. 1 Co 3:5-7

4)      2) Growth comes in stages, not all at once

5)      a) There will be days when all we seem to be doing is "sowing"

6)      b) There will be days when all we seem to be doing is "waiting" -- Like the farmer, then, we must be patient - cf. Ja 5:7

CONCLUSION The parable of "The Growing Seed" treach us:

  1. that we are laborers together with God. It is our duty to sow the seed (the Word of God), it is up to God to give the increase - cf. 1 Co 3:6-9 Having sown the seed, we must wait for time and God to perfect the growth - cf. Ph 1:6 c. The growth that comes will do so in gradual stages
  2. to trust and hope in power of the Word of God. The gospel is God's power to save! - cf. Ro 1:16-17

Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother? Both in the world, and in your own life as well...?


Mat 13:31 – 32  - Strong roots produce big fruits
(The Parable of Mustard Seed)


All living things in God’s crdation are chracterized by ability to bear fruit (Christian Schwarz). Where there is no fruit, life is condemned to death. It is no accident that Jesus repeatedly referred to this natural law and aplied it to the spiritual realm. In Matthew 7.16-17 we read: „Every good three bears good fruit“



  • The mustard seed was used frequently to describe anything that is small in its beginning
  • Jesus used it on another occasion to describe one's faith - cf. Mt 17:20
  • Among seeds sown in a garden it was generally the smallest
  • The seed that is planted grows, sprouts into a plant, plant becomes the biggest in the garden.
  • The final impact of the growth is the fact that there is a place for shelter, place of security.


  1. A. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WOULD HAVE A SMALL BEGINNING... 1. Old Testament prophecy foretold this: a. Concerning the Messiah - cf. Isa 11:1; 53:2-3 b. "The Son of Man grew up in a despised province; he did not appear in public until his thirtieth year; then taught for two or three years in neighboring villages, and occasionally at Jerusalem; made a few converts, chiefly among the poor and unlearned; and then falling into the hands of his enemies, died the shameful death of the cross; such, and so slight, was the commencement of the universal kingdom of God." (R. C. Trench, Notes On The Parables Of Our Lord)

  • Just as the "small stone" of Dan 2:35 "became a great mountain and filled the whole earth"
  • The growth of the church in the first century A.D. certainly confirmed the truth of Jesus' parable a. The 120 disciples grew to over 3000 just in one day - Ac 2:41-42 It was soon about 5000 - Ac 4:4 The number of the disciples continued to "multiply"  In Jerusalem - Ac 6:7 2) Throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria - Ac 9:31 d. Years later, there were "myriads" of believers just in Jerusalem alone - Ac 21:20 3. Even today, we see the growth and influence of the kingdom of heaven in lives of believers around the world!

  1. C. IT'S GROWTH WOULD BE BENEFICIAL TO THE WORLD... 1. In the parable, Jesus spoke of how "the birds of the air come and nest in its branches" 2. What is meant by Jesus? He does not say, but the kingdom of God is certainly a blessing to all who take refuge in its "branches" a. E.g., "for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" - Ro 14:17 b. To those seeking rest for their weary souls, the King offers His tender invitation to come to Him and enter His kingdom of rest - cf. Mt 11:28-30 [With this simple parable, Jesus offers encouragement to that small band of disciples following Him over the hills of Palestine. They would be a part of something that would grow and bless the world immensely! What about today? The kingdom of heaven continues to grow and spread out is branches to those who will accept it, certainly. But can we ever expect similar growth to that witnessed in the first century? Consider a few thoughts about...]

CONCLUSION 1. The potential for the kingdom's amazing growth rests in the Person who reigns as its King... a. Those who will abide in Christ can be used by Him to produce the remarkable growth in the kingdom illustrated by this

"The Parable Of The Mustard Seed" to serve as... a. An encouragement - The kingdom of heaven is destined for great things, though its beginning was small . A reminder - That if we are going to be useful to the Master in this ever growing kingdom, we must "abide in Him" so we can "bear much fruit"


Mat 13:33 – The silent power

(The Parable of the Yeast)


  • In Israel women were responsible for the baking of bread, part of that process was allowing the bread to rise, thus the bread would need to have yeast added, small amounts of yeast would be used to leaven large quantities of dough,
  • Yeast works a significant change in dough, it creates a fermentation process that expands the dough, the dough becomes fermented by the yeast and rises, the bread then becomes much larger than the original amount, this process also gives the bread a better flavor and texture, the yeast creates a positive effect on the bread and its final result,


  • In the New Testament, "leaven" is often symbolic of corrupting  influence. Jesus warned of "the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees", which included their teaching and hypocrisy -. Mt 16:5-12; Lk 12:1
  • Paul wrote of the danger of how "a little leaven leavens the whole lump", as he addressed the need to withdraw from the unpenitent brother - 1 Co 5:1-13

  • But this is not how leaven or yeast is used here. Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into more than a bushel of flour.
  • Jesus tells us that his kingdom , His rule and His will is like leaven that is added to this world and which works through it to change it.
    Yeast produce  2 radical things:

Yeast produce change

  • As we said leaven changed the character of the bread. Unleavened bread was like a water biscuit - hard, dry, unappetizing and uninteresting. Leavened bread was soft, porous and spongy, tasty and good to eat.
  • As we are changed by the leaven so we become leaven. In Israel some of dough set aside to be used again in new batch.
  • As we are change we become agents of change in the world. As believers we represent the kingdom - we are part of it. (Mat 5:16)
  • Our purpose is not just to get to heaven or to get others to heaven, but to be an instrument of God’s hand to bring every though of whatever kind into submission to the mind and will of Christ.
  • This may discourage us more but we need not for the victory will be ours.
    a. It is not our doing but God’s in us. As he transformed us He will transform world through us as individuals and as a church

We do not always see the results imediately, but  real yeast produce after a while visible change. We do not always see the results - not always see rising of dough - works slowly esp. when one considers the batch takes 1,000’s of years. If it were to take that long to have dough rise we would not even see it. May seem slow but the yeast is working nonetheless.

I. Yeast produce growth

  • Leaven is powerful that is why can be used to illustrate the growth of God’s kingdom.
  • As Leaven works from inside out in such a way God’s word works to produce personal spiritual growth in believer’s life and church life.
  • We should not underestimate the power of the gospel 1 Cor 1:18.
  • Allow that Word to produce fruit in your life, so that you become an leavening influence for the kingdom of God!

Conclusion: The changes are like a underground river of life that is there but only comes to surface once in a while.Friends we are leaven of the kingdom and we will see the victory. God is in us and is using us. Be changed, transformed and become an agent of transformation.
The victory will be ours. (Phil 2; Col 1:6) Before then will be times of discouragement. Battles may be lost but Christ will win the war. The final victory is His - do not lose heart.