When Jesus began His ministry He proclaimed that the Kingdom of God had come. When we say the Lord's Prayer we pray that God's Kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven and most of the parables concern the Kingdom of God. It is coming, and it is already beginning to happen, the reign of God where God's will is done on earth as fully as it is in heaven. This short parable is full of unmistakeable truths:
1. It talks of human helplessness. Obviously, the farmer doesn't make the seed grow; he is dependent on the right soil, the perfect weather. We cannot create the Kingdom of God as obviously it is God's! We can frustrate it for a short time, we can give opportunities for it to grow well, but the power and will is God's.
2. It talks of God's Kingdom. Jesus frequently used illustrations from the growth of natural things to describe the coming of the Kingdom of God. As nature is often imperceptible in its growth, so it is with the Kingdom. Today there are around two billion people in this world who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and that from just a few hundred when Jesus died! It is impossible to deny that the Kingdom is growing and advancing! It is also constant in its growth. The work of God goes on unceasingly; the Holy Spirit moves in the world to unfold His plan. It is inevitable. You can see that with natural growth if you have tried to keep weeds out of your garden or if you have a large tree near to your house which is threatening the foundations. God's work goes on through periods of war, famine, pestilence and in times when many are denying His existence.
3. In nature, there is a consummation when the day of harvest comes. God's Kingdom will come fully and 'the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. ' Habakkuk 2 v 14. We can be patient then, because we know it is happening; we can be full of hope and never despair, because we know our hopes for eternal life with God will come to pass; we can be prepared-we know it is going to happen, because who or what can prevent God from bringing about His purposes?
If we live in patience which cannot be defeated, in hope which cannot despair and in preparation which always views life in the light of eternity, we shall be ready for His consummation when it comes!