Are we sure Jesus was a carpenter? Because he talks an awful lot about seeds, continuing with the Parable of the Growing Seed in Mark 4:26-29.
“He also said.” I feel like this is further evidence that these parables were not all told at once, but were collected and placed here by the author.
If we use the same definition of seed here as Jesus informed us previously, it represents “the word,” whatever that means. It seems likely to mean Jesus’ teachings, his words about God’s love. If so, the Kingdom of God, His domain on earth as distributed through the authority of those who have given their earthly authority over to Him, is represented as that which spreads the word.
While I can understand how this reads as a message to evangelize, I think it’s clear that the point being made is actually the opposite. The kingdom may be represented as a person which spreads the word of Jesus, but the following point is that the kingdom doesn’t actually do anything to cause the word to grow in others. This means that while you spread the message of God’s love, it is God which grows in a person’s heart over time, and you need to be patient to wait for it.
I also think that Jesus undersells what goes on to produce the growth of the seed here. There is tilling, watering in the dry season. The point that the growth itself, the life, occurs outside of an individual’s influence is understood, but it certainly isn’t simply, toss some seed and wait for the harvest. (As any farmer will tell you).
In light of the parable of the sower from earlier, I feel the message is two-fold. The message that God loves you unconditionally, the word of Jesus, is a powerful one and has a power of its own to transform a person’s life. However, you need to care and watch over the seed, you can’t just throw the seed out there, call the soil saved, and forget the seed. You should be mindful of the soil into which you are throwing the seed.
Yes, I’m looking at you revival meetings/Christian camps. So often we allow hormones and emotions to prepare soil over rocky ground, and then we wonder why the roots remained shallow and the plant wilted. So, share the message of Jesus, but do so with a mind toward who you are telling, and you must do more than just tell them, you must guide them. Answer their questions to the best of your ability, or admit that you don’t know. Some of the best relationships can grow from a mutual search for truth. This is the true beauty of Jesus’ message of God’s love, it brings people together.
Grace and Peace to you all.