Mark 4:26-34 Father’s Day
Pastor Nathan Nass June 18, 2017
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” 30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 Yet when plant-ed, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say any-thing to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disci-ples, he explained everything.
Christian Fathers Are Farmers
I once visited a father—actually a grandfather—in the hospital. He was sick, but his memory troubles kept him from remembering what he was sick with. He couldn’t tell me what he had or how long he would be there. But he had something on his mind. He leaned forward in the bed and slowly said, “I have to tell you something serious, pastor. I’m so worried!” I wondered what he would say. Was he dying? What was the bad news? “My daughter has started going to a church that doesn’t teach the truth from the Bible. Oh, it hurts me so much. What can I tell her? I think about it all day long.” Here he was laying on a hospital bed, hooked up to all sorts of IVs, but he wasn’t one bit concerned about that. A person he loved was drifting away from Jesus. For him, that was the worst pain of all.
I bet many of you can relate to that feeling. The fact that you’re here tells me that Jesus is important to you. And if Jesus is what’s most important to you, then many of you know that father’s pain. You’ve felt that same concern for your own children and the peo-ple you love. More than anything in the world, you want them to believe in Jesus. But the problem is that life is long. Life is long and full of temptations and sin and false gods. There’s nothing more painful than to see people you love waver in their faith in Jesus. I can still hear that father’s words, “I think about it all day long.”
To comfort those fears, Jesus tells us a parable. It’s not just for fathers, but it’s easy to apply to fathers on Fathers’ Day. Jesus said, “A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” We get this! A farmer plants his seed, and then farming takes a whole lot of trust. The farmer trusts that little by little—even when he’s sleeping, even though he might not understand know how—that seed will grow until it’s ready to harvest.
So what’s the point? Like a farmer with his seed, plant and trust God’s Word. Farm-ers take a risk every time they plant their seeds. So many things are outside a farmer’s con-trol—weather, bugs, even the end result. But a farmer knows to plant his seed and trust that little by little God will make it grow. Christians are farmers. We’re called to plant God’s Word over and over again in people’s hearts. We can’t control the end results, but God does! The apostle Paul wrote, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Just like in a little seed, there is inexplicable power in God’s Word. Plant the Word and trust that it will grow!
So have we planted God’s Word over and over again in the hearts of those we love? Last year, my family didn’t get any strawberries out of our little garden. Not a single straw-berry all summer. Can you believe it? You should, because we didn’t plant any strawber-ries. So of course we didn’t have any strawberries grow in our garden! But how often do we expect people to grow into Christians
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