By Rev. Dr. Michael H. Koplitz
26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Parables can stimulate many different interpretations. One way to examine this particular parable is that Yeshua was talking about spiritual growth. Yeshua met many people during His ministry, and they immediately followed Him. Why? They believed that Yeshua was the Messiah that the LORD had promised to His people.
Nevertheless, did they remain as disciples? That is an impossible question to answer. Indeed, many of them did because the faith grew, but many probably did not. Yeshua was only with them for three years. How long does it take for spiritual growth to occur? It is a unique process for every individual but should last for an entire lifetime. Similarities will exist between people, but there is a uniqueness to spiritual development (growth) for each of us.
Spiritual growth starts with a seed being planted. Stop now and think. When was the seed first planted in you? The seed is a metaphor for the a new desire to know the LORD.
Spiritual growth can then occur by the study of the Bible, especially an understanding of the Gospels. It may be necessary for a mentor to help. In the parable, the farmer does not intervene to help the crop grow. However, the seeds do receive help from the soil which contains the nutrients and water necessary for growth. Therefore, we can see that a mentor is necessary for spiritual growth. The soil is the spiritual mentor. The farmer can be a metaphor for an event or feeling that sparks a person to learn about the LORD. When did that spark first occur in you and what did the spark light in your life?
When is spiritual growth over? The answer is, “Never”! Unfortunately, many people today are not interested in continual spiritual growth. They get baptized and are satisfied. Many times a person comes to understand Yeshua, gets baptized, then never enters the church again. They believe that they have obtained salvation through baptism. However, that is not the truth. Baptism is only the beginning of a spiritual journey.
The harvest is a metaphor for the completion of one’s spiritual growth. In that case, the harvest would be the disconnection from the LORD. When the sickle cuts the crop, all growth stops. Therefore, the crop should never tell the farmer that it is ready to be harvested. Why? Because the harvest of a crop is the crop’s death. Spiritual growth must never be halted!
The Scripture is as deep as the LORD is infinite. Based on this, spiritual growth and learning never ends as we continue to dig deeper into the Word of God. There is always more to learn. Using the parable metaphorically, the crop harvest never happens. If the soil is a metaphor for the LORD, then the harvest would be a disconnection from the LORD. This situation is not a desirable event. The parable says that it is up to the crop to decide when to harvest. That can refer to you. Have you harvested to end your growing relationship with the LORD or is your crop this growing and maturing?
The desire to learn everything about the LORD can take hold in a person. It will occur differently in each one and will take a different amount of time for each person. Yeshua said it would occur. The crop is the spiritual awareness by the individual. Once the growth starts, it should never be stopped because there is an infinite amount of learning about the LORD. It will become a life long adventure.
May the LORD bless you in your learning and studying of His Word.
Pastor Michael H. Koplitz, D.Min., Ph.D. is an ordained minister, author, teacher, and webmaster at BibleInteract. He currently lives in York Pennsylvania with his wife, Sandy, where he has been a pastor at the United Methodist Church for over 18 years.
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