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Parable of the Growing Seed

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The Parable of the Growing Seed is a parable found in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 4:26-29) and partly in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas (Thomas 21d).

26And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Its fragmentary presence in Thomas makes it plausible for it to have ultimately derived from the Q Gospel, though it is unusual for it not to also be present in either the Gospel of Matthew or that of Luke.

In the parable, Jesus likens the growth of the Kingdom of God to a man scattering seeds on the ground: they sprout and grow without the man doing anything more, or even understanding the process by which they grow. In time the grain ripens and the man harvests it. The Gospel of Thomas only contains the last part of this, the cutting down; the initial part is only implied.

Most scholars interpret the parable as meaning that one cannot, and should not try to, understand the process of spiritual growth, any more than other obscure and complex processes, though the end results themselves are rewarding. Most Evangelical Christians have similar opinions, but additionally interpret the parable in a similar manner to Dr R.A. Cole (in New Bible Commentary) - that one need not understand spiritual growth in order to share it.

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Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Parable of the Growing Seed. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

Parable of the Growing Seed
Preceded by
Parable of Wheat and Weeds
Parables of Jesus
New Testament
Succeeded by
Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Parables of Jesus