The Parable of the Growing Seed – Mark 4:26-29 – Inductive Bible Study

Mark 4:26-29

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.” 

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

New Life


The Reproductive Cycle

A Fruitful Life

The Maturation Process

God’s Sovereignty in the Believer’s Life

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?

The sower

The wheat and the tares

The mustard seed

The talents

The rich fool

  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

He was probably speaking just to His disciples. Mark 4:10 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.

  1. What was the context for this parable?

Jesus is using parables to explain the kingdom of God to His disciples.

  1. What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?
    1. Man – Jesus (and believers)
    2. Casts – Sharing the gospel
    3. Seed – The Gospel
    4. Soil – The earth
    5. Goes to Bed At Night – Leaves the results in the Lord’s hands
    6. Gets up by Day – Goes about his regular activities
    7. Sprouts – New life springs forth
    8. Grows – Grows in his walk with the Lord
    9. Soil Produces Crops by Itself – The Lord causes the growth
    10. Blade – A Young Convert
    11. Head – A Maturing Believer
    12. Mature Grain – A Mature Believer Ready to Go Home to the Lord
    13. When the Crop Permits – The Believer has Finished his Course
    14. Puts in the Sickle – Sends the Reapers to Harvest
    15. Harvest has Come – Time to Go Be With the Lord
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    1. A young life if very fragile.
    2. My job is to properly plant the seed.
    3. After the planting, I must trust God with the results.
    4. God causes the growth.
    5. We don’t understand the mystery of growth.
    6. At the right time, when it is ready, Christ brings in the harvest.
    7. Spiritual growth is a very gradual process.
    8. The purpose of sowing is to produce a harvest.
    9. Maturation takes a long time.
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Matt 13:30

30’Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘” 

Job 8:7

7 “Though your beginning was insignificant,

Yet your end will increase greatly.

John 4:35

35 “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.

Acts 1:15

15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,

John 12:24

24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Joel 3:13

13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.

Come, tread, for the wine press is full;

The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

Isa 53:2

2 For He grew up before Him like a tender  shoot,

And like a root out of parched ground;

He has no stately form or majesty

That we should look upon Him,

Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

Phil 1:6

6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

James 1:2-4

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Eccl 11:4

He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

Eccl 11:6

Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

1 Cor 3:6-7

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

1 Peter 1:23

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

Gen 1:28

28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

2 Tim 4:2

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Rom 15:20

20 And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation ;

  1. Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.
    1. What are the different interpretations of this parable?
    2. What does it mean that the soil produces crops by itself?
    3. What does each kind of soil represent?
    4. Should we look for a specific kind of soil when we sow the seed?
    5. Who is the one who will cause the seed to grow?
    6. Have you been sowing seed lately?
    7. Do you have a strong root to withstand trials?
  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?