I think this parable is very similar in meaning to the last one. As I said before, while we may plant the word of God in people’s hearts, only God can make it grow. Many times, the growth is happening, and we don’t even notice. For example, we share the gospel, and the person seems indifferent or even hostile. But unbeknownst to us, the seed takes root.
Through no power of our own, God through his Holy Spirit starts working in that person’s heart, using circumstances, other people, and the word you planted to start pulling that person to himself. The next thing you know, the person who was so indifferent or so hostile to the gospel comes up to you smiling and says, “Thank you. Thank you for sharing Jesus with me. It was because of you that I am now a Christians.”
But I think we can take this parable another way. Sometimes we get frustrated by this world, and we wonder, “Is God’s kingdom really coming? It sure doesn’t seem like it. Things just keep getting worse.”
But in this parable we see several things. The seeds of the kingdom have already been planted through Jesus and the apostles. Even to this day, seeds are being planted in the hearts of the people around us. And those seeds are growing. Most times, we don’t even notice it. But as with a plant that slowly grows over time, we can see just how much it has grown when we look back to its beginning. Think of how the gospel has spread in 2000 years. From one city, it has spread throughout the whole world. And it is continuing to spread to this very day.
Moreover, the kingdom of God is inevitable. No one can stop its growth completely. Sometimes it can be hindered, but it can’t be stopped. The U.S.S.R. learned that, as have many other countries that have tried to stamp out the gospel.
Because of this, a time is coming when the kingdom of God will be here for all to see, and Christ will reign. A day of judgment will come when those who follow Christ will be rewarded, and those who went their own way will be condemned.
So what can we take from this?
First, wait patiently in hope. It’s easy to get discouraged when we see all the evil around us. But take heart. God’s kingdom is coming. It is growing even now, and it can’t be stopped. So in your frustrations, through your afflictions, wait patiently. It won’t last forever. Know that you will be rewarded.
Second, be prepared. We don’t know when Jesus will come back, but until that day, let us be about our Father’s business. The key issue is not when Jesus will come back. The key issue is to be ready whenever he comes back.
How about you? Are you ready?