Beginning in Mark 4:26, there are two parables, or similitudes of the kingdom.
There are four components of the first similitude.
- The farmer only sows. He does not grow the crop (1 Corinthians 3:6).
- The growth of the crop is imperceptible.
- The growth of the crop is a process.
- The harvest will come. Our contribution to this is patience and hope (James 5:7-8).
The second similitude describes the planting and growth of the mustard tree. As in the earlier lesson, the seed must be sown. Seed that remains in the sack does not germinate. Also in Mark 4 is the “Parable of the Sower” which teaches the seed is the word of God that must be sown.
The mustard seed is extremely small, yet the tree that comes from it is extremely large. In the same way so is the church. It starts out small, but can grow.
The produce of the tree has one predominant use: to provide seasoning. The church also has one predominant purpose: to glorify God by bringing forth sons and daughters (Hebrews 2:10).
The mustard tree’s branches house birds and animals. The church houses and protects all who obey the gospel and live faithful lives.