Mark 4:3-9, 18-23
Listen; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
The kingdom of God as -
I. A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE. Outwardly insignificant; exposed to the uncertainties of human agency and the vicissitudes of circumstance; yet embodying vital force, and capable under suitable conditions of producing its kind. Ever commencing anew, in germ and vital unit. A result as well as a cause, even as the seed is a fruit in the first instance. Requiring everything external of itself that is necessary to its being deposited in the minds of men to be done for it; yet containing an independent, original power of its own, viz. reproduction.
II. A PROCESS OF GROWTH. Dependent upon:
1. Manner of its reception;
2. Character of the hearer, i.e. whether deep or shallow, thorough or otherwise, like the soil;
3. Place which it holds in human regard - whether considered as the chief or only as a subordinate interest in life;
4. Time, - this in all cases.
III. A CONDITION OF FRUITFULNESS. The soul, just like the ground, if left alone, will be barren or overgrown with weeds. It must be tilled, sown, and tended. Sometimes these duties are divided, sometimes combined, but all are necessary.
1. All true believers are not alike fruitful. This is analogous to material and mental culture.
2. It is enough if each brings forth according to capacity and ability.
3. all cases there is compensating power of increase in the Word, beyond the natural qualities and powers of the believer, although a certain relation is always observed to the proportion of faith and diligence. The blessing of God is especially manifest in the fruits of the Word. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: