HOME PAGE   |   CONTACT PAGE   |   OUR CALENDAR 

OUR SITE MAP ... DOZENS OF BIBLE STUDY PAGES

RECENT MEETINGS

 STANDING WITH THE BAGWELLS 

 
 

To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.

 

MARK 4:26-29

THE LAWS OF THE HARVEST!

Study with us one of our Lord's great Parables!

"And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Mark 4:26-29

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

Let's study one of the Parables Jesus taught!

This one is brief, but heavy with meaning. Of course, everything Jesus said was critically important.

Mark 4:26-29 speaks to us today. "And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

Obviously, this paragraph is about "fruit." Not peaches or strawberries, but grain. Likely wheat, to be more specific.

And this is interesting, only Mark records these words of Jesus. This is not the standard "Parable of the Sower" recorded in the "Sermon on the Mount."

We shall, Lord willing, analyze our verses, four of them, one at a time. This kind of approach to Scripture is call "exposition." This important word is of Latin origin. It means to reach into a Text, handling it carefully and reverently, and "to place" (in Latin "ponere") its meaning "out of" (in Latin "ex") its moorings, making it more easily understood. To "deposit" something is "to place it down" in a vault or somewhere for safe keeping! To "exposit" something is to reach into it and "to place it out in the open," more easily beheld!

Exposition!

Here's an example, from the Old Testament. This is expository preaching in action. "So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading." Nehemiah 8:8

The verb "read" is "kara," meaning "to recite, to call out loud or to proclaim," as well as "to read."

The adverb "distinctly" is "parash," that is, "precisely!" It means "separated," false interpretations being eliminated, and truth being emphasized! In one stem in Hebrew, "parash" can also mean "to sting!" The Word of God can do that too!

To "give sense" translates "sekel," or "to impart wisdom or prudence or insight or discretion."

Wow!

Finally, "to cause to understand" is "biyn," to separate truth into it constituent layers of meaning, thereby being better able to study it and meditate upon it and recall it! It literally means "to distinguish, to consider."

And the noun "reading" is "miqra," a "calling together or assembly or convocation." This is public reading then!  At Church! During worship! Before the preaching! Everyone present!

This is our pattern for Biblical preaching, yet today!

Yes, the exposition of God's Word in an open worship service, in the Old Testament! Ezra and Nehemiah style!

And that's what we must do in our Text, Mark 4:26-29, beginning tomorrow, the Lord willing.

This should be interesting.

We should also learn some "laws of the harvest," as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 26:

The definition of a parable, probably over-simplified but adequate for our purposes here, is "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning." At least that's what they taught us in Sunday School, many years ago.

Technically, a "parable" is, based on its Greek word structure, an illustration "laid down beside" some great point of Truth, to further explain it or to supply for it a word picture of some kind. "Para" in Greek means "beside." While "ballo" means "to throw" something.

Mark, in our Text, gives a parable of Jesus that is "peculiar" to him. That is, no other Gospel writer records these words. Jesus said this, exactly as recorded, but being so much like the "Parable of the Sower," extremely well-known and so recently taught in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew and Luke and John omit it.

Mark begins, really Jesus begins: "And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground." Mark 4:26

The opening verb "to say," in Greek "lego," is called an imperfect verb. That does not mean there's anything wrong with it! It tells us, grammatically, the sense of time the verb carries. Jesus said, "spoke, declared, preached, taught," all of which are synonyms, in such a powerful way that, when He had finished, the words lived on in the minds and hearts of the hearers that day!  In fact, those words are still living today, over two thousand years later!

Finished action, completed in full, but with long-lasting, still-present, life-changing results ... such are "imperfect" verbs in Greek!

The term "kingdom of God" must now be considered. There is a difference between the two expressions, often confused, the "kingdom of God" and the "kingdom of Heaven." One is broader, more universal than the other. Dispensationally speaking, the "kingdom of Heaven" is the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. He is coming back to earth some day! After the Rapture! After the Tribulation! Riding a great white horse of victory! To rule and reign on this earth! For a thousand glorious years!

In the Gospels when Jesus speaks of the kingdom of Heaven, He's talking about that future time of wonder and peace and fulfillment.

Whereas the "kingdom of God" is a much more inclusive expression, enveloping all the saved people of all the ages under one gracious umbrella, the people of God! Born-again saints of all time!

Truly, when Jesus taught; "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," He is not saying that the meek and humble and non-assertive and passive folks on this old sin-cursed earth always come out on top of every situation! No! No! No! They often get trampled by the contemporary, possessive, rebellious crowds! But Jesus is saying that when He comes back to earth, during the "kingdom of Heaven," the meek will be blessed and rewarded and honored!

Amen!

Then ... not now!

Our short Mark 4 Parable teaches of the kingdom of God. It describes how folks get saved! How they get into God's family! Into His flock! Into His favour! Into His fellowship!

In order to elucidate or illuminate or illustrate or simplify the Truth Jesus is presenting, He relies on a "short story" with precise meaning.

Obviously, from our Verse today, we can already tell it focuses on farm life. "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground." The people of Jesus' day were mostly familiar with the soil anyway, or else knew well someone who farmed.

They did not always plant in rows back then, either!

They prepared the whole field, then "scattered" the seed everywhere over its loosely tilled dirt! The verb "cast" is literally "ballo," which definition you well know! It means "to throw!"

See the farmer?

See his seed bag?

See his arms fling back and forth?

See the seed flying?

Landing in its place?

Still, some on hard ground, some on rocky ground, some by the wayside, some to be eaten by the birds ... but some on good ground too!

That's the seed on which we shall concentrate here!

In this parable!

The seed that does germinate!

The seed that is not stolen by predators!

The seed that is not choked by thorns!

Seed that is successful!

Every planting operation is filled with hope!

Each time God's Word is preached, truth is sown in hearts!

If the Holy Ghost deeply implants it there, get ready!

Something's going to happen!

The noun "seed" is "sporos" in Greek. It is derived from the verb "speiro," meaning "to scatter."

Oh, the power of a little seed!

We leave the farmer in his field today.

Soon the sowing will be done.

Then God takes over!

Or so He does in this parable!

Then, the seed rests in good Hands!

Speak to someone about Jesus!

Witness!

Testify!

Sow the seed!

God then taking over, there's just no telling what He might do!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 27:

It's still true!

Even with all the scientific progress in agricultural science!

"And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how." Mark 4:27

Once the seed is sown; "And Jesus said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; much remains a mystery!

The farmer has, at least for the time being, once he has "cast the seed into the ground," done all he can!

He must wait!

Wait on the Lord!

James 5:7 accurately senses the spirit of our Text. "Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."

The farmer "sleeps."

If rain comes, God must send it.

If sunshine is sufficient, warm and plentiful, God must give that too.

As Psalm 37:7 encourages, one must simply ... "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him."

In one of Jesus' parables, that of the tares growing among the wheat, bad things happened when the farmer slept! "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." Matthew 13:24-25

But in our parable, the "Parable of the Seed," God even protects the potential harvest! Nighttime as well as daytime!

Yes, back to our Verse: "And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how."

The husbandman sleeps ... and days pass! Represented by the temporal marker "night and day," planting season turns into growing season! Of course the hope is for harvest time, reaping season!

But there's a miracle in our Text!

The seed should "spring up," in Greek "blastano," meaning "to sprout," then "to yield or produce!" Really, "blastos" just means a "sprout," that first little hint of the coming plant.

Interestingly, here the noun "seed" or "sporos" is singular! So then, of necessity, is the verb!

One little seed, no matter how productive, would disappoint the farmer. It takes acres of them to feed the family and the livestock and the neighbors and the city!

But Jesus is here teaching, not farming!

The whole farm will bear such fruit, thousands and thousands of seeds, yet our Lord is interested in just one, for example's sake.

Someone once pointed out to me that the Text says "should spring up," as if there is some doubt. Not really! It's a sure thing! The "should" is NOT introducing any possibility of uncertainty here. It is a proper rendering of a verb, like "blastano," when it's in the subjunctive mood. It is presenting to us the farmer's goal, his desire, the ideal!

This is what will occur, God blessing the seed!

It's more of a promise than a question!

But the seed not only "springs," it also "grows!" To "grow up" translates "mekuno," a hapax legomenon. That means "once" only in a text! Something said only one time in a body of literature! The verb means "to become great, to enlarge, to lengthen!"

Don't you see God's Hand behind all this?

We don't understand it all, hardly any, truth be told!

Yes, the farmer "knoweth not how."

That's why this is the parable of the seed, not the parable of the farmer or the sower or the earth-worker!

Behind all this seed-sowing and soon-growing talk, lies a beautiful truth.

Jesus is teaching us something of the POWER of the Word of God!

Our Lord, in Matthew 13:23, clearly explains this. "He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word."

The efficacy, the effectiveness, the dynamic power, the success of our preaching and teaching and witnessing are not found in our methods! Or in our personalities! Or in our psychology!

Such great things are found in the power of the seed!

The power of Scripture!

The power of God's Word!

Sow it ... and go to bed!

Let God send the soft showers and bring sunlight and, soon, Lord willing ... sprouts will appear everywhere!

The seed!

Please get it, understand this great fact!

The Seed!

James 1:21 speaks of "the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls." Wow! That's the idea! "Engrafted" is "emphutos," implanted! More specifically, "phuo" means "to beget, to be born, to swell up!"

Thank God for today's Verse: ""And (the farmer) should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how." Mark 4:27

Praise the Lord!

Keep sowing!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 28, "AUTOMATIC:"

The short little Parable we've been studying certainly has some constructive words. One of which is so important that we will only discuss half a verse today.

"For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." This is Mark 4:28.

The first clause is thus called Mark 4:28a, when a Verse is subdivided for expository purposes. "For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself ...."

The seed has been sown.

Presumably, though unmentioned, rain and sunshine and warmth have come too, all from the Hand of a gracious God.

Then, the earth brought forth the grain, the fruit, "of herself."

Interesting!

First, a few words need to be quickly discussed.

"Earth" is "ge" in Greek, pronounced "gay," with a long a sound. From this stem we get words like geography, geology and such.

The expression "bringeth forth fruit" is spelled "karpophoreo," just one Greek word! "Karpos" is fruit or produce from the fields or vines or trees. It is derived from "harpazo," meaning "to seize" or "to snatch away!" While "phero" means "to carry or move or bring" something. The present tense of our verb here means that the earth does this habitually, year after year!

But now, to the most amazing word in today's half-verse, "of herself."

This short little phrase is spelled "automatos."

Look at it, "automatos."

"Auto" means "self."

And "mao" means "to desire, to crave eagerly!"

"Automatos" then suggests some kind of self-propulsion!

Clearly, it's our word "automatic!"

Think of this!

All the little farmer did in our Parable here is plant the seed!

Then he sleeps and wakes and carries on a normal life. No doubt caring for many other chores on the land. "And Jesus said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself ...."

The "power" is not in the farmer, the sower, not at all!

The "power" is in the seed!

In the soil!

In the sunlight!

In the rain!

All God-sent gifts!

Plant the seed and get out of the way!

Let God work!

And, eventually, it will happen!

Gradually ... yet almost suddenly!

God will give the increase!

Automatically!

That no flesh can glory in His Presence!

The only other time in the whole Bible that "automatos" occurs is Acts 12:10, when Peter was being miraculously delivered from jail, by an angel! "When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him." I've capitalized the pertinent words.

An "automatic" door!

And, an "automatic" harvest!

Sure makes me want to keep on preaching the Word!

No wonder the Bible, Isaiah specifically, quoting the Lord Himself, can so faithfully promise: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11

It's automatic!

Hand me my Bible, please!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 28, "STAGES" OF GROWTH:

God does things "decently and in order." Scripture constantly talks about the "ways" of God. The Psalmist assures us; "As for God, his way is perfect." Psalm 18:30

The short Parable we've been studying shows one aspect of God's faithfulness. It's seen in the growth of a little seed. One might even call it the "law" of the harvest.

"For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28

I see here three "steps" or "stages" or "phases" of development for this stalk of grain. It has carefully been sown by the farmer. "As if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:26-28

The first indication of life is the "blade." Or "chortos" in Greek, which means "grass" 12 times and "hay" 1 time and "blade" 2 times in the New Testament. That's using the King James Bible as our base of reference. It's the little "sprout" that first rises through the earth!

"First" is "proton," indicating "priority in time or place."

Next comes the "ear" of grain, "stachus," which might be defined as the "stalk" of wheat. The history of our little noun can be traced back to the verb "histemi," meaning "to stand."

The sprout now has grown and strengthened and gained substance, able to withstand wind and rain and grow even more toward usefulness, fruitfulness. It's ultimate goal, to please the farmer!

Lastly, "the full corn in the ear," where "corn" is "sitos," translated "wheat" 12 times in the Bible, and "corn" only 2 times.

"Full," indicating health and hardiness, is "pleres," that is, "not empty!" One text says, "lacking nothing."

Now ... cut it, mill it, cook it ... and you have bread!

Biscuits!

Food!

Three stages of growth!

See the regularity?

God's faithfulness, His systematic decrees, being illustrated in a wheat field! Before our very eyes!

There is spiritual truth hidden behind this planting session!

There are no doubt "stages" or "steps" or "levels" through which a man or woman passes as the Holy Ghost brings him or her to salvation!

One old Preacher I heard talked about God's "protecting" Grace that oversaw our lives even before we were saved! "Prevenient Grace," I think he called it! We would have all been dead and in Hell without it!

Then of course no one was ever saved apart from the "drawing power" of the Holy Spirit! "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." That's Jesus in John 6:44.

We can't omit conviction either! The Lord proving to us that we're lost hell-bound sinners, beyond doubt! I personally was is terrible shape when the Spirit of God finished this step in my journey to Jesus! Miserable was I, begging for salvation!

Yes, somewhere along that line came "hunger!" Spiritual hunger, and thirst too!

And determination, eagerness, no, even more. Often it's this strong: "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." No One Else would have sufficed! Jesus, and Jesus Alone!

Salvation had become a necessity!

I'm probably on "thin ice" with some of you today. This very line of thought is not to say that salvation must be drawn out over a period of years or months or whatever.

But each of these conditions must be experienced! I'm sure of that!

Part of today's problem in our Churches is that we have too many so-called saints of God who have never been under conviction! Never known they were lost in the first place! Never been "drawn" to Jesus! Never been "broken" by the the Holy Ghost of God!

And if so, if they merely walked an aisle, signed some decision card, were meaninglessly immersed in water, or whatever else ... I'll just say it ... THEY ARE NOT SAVED!

By the way, to those of you who are having spiritual convulsions right now, does that crowd of "professors,"  those who took the "short-cuts," do they bear any real "fruit" for Jesus?

Are they top-heavy with grain to be used for His Glory?

I believe these "stages," for lack of a better term, can be seen in the salvation experience of "the thief on the cross," the repentant one, as he was born-again!

In other of Jesus' interviews too!

The poor woman at the well, in John 4, for sure!

And in my life also!

Lord willing, more tomorrow!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

I recently read a little book about evangelism. It was written by some folks who have spent their lives witnessing for the Lord, primarily on college campuses throughout the land.

In it a thought was developed. The suggestion was made that there exist certain experiences that everyone encounters, certain "steps" or "levels" or "gradations" if you will allow me, on the way to soul salvation.

The work was written more from an anthropological viewpoint that a theological one perhaps. Yet it presented some interesting facts, facts that align themselves perfectly with our Bible Text, Mark 4:26-29.

Let me show you what I mean.

These soul-winners assure us that no sinner is ever going to come to Jesus ... unless he or she has first learned to trust the man or woman who is doing the witnessing!

A hypocrite is unlikely to be a good witness! Nor is a charlatan, or statistician, or some worldly minded Baptist either!

By the time the "woman at the well" in John 4 had left Jesus, running back into town, she had learned that He, the "soul-winner" par excellence, could be trusted! She said to the men of the city, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

In other words, she affirms, He did not flirt with me!

He did not speak sensual double-talk!

He did not touch me!

He was kind!

He told me the Truth!

He is Real!

He is Messiah!

He is God!

In trusting Jesus the soul-winner, she met Jesus the God-man! "The Saviour of the world," as John 4:42 calls Him!

Likely in these last days, at least in America, "mass-market" soul winning is about done. Real evangelism, in these days of "gleaning," will probably be more "one-on-one" telling people about Jesus!

The little treatise continued.

Other "points" needing to be traversed dealt with developing a curiosity for Jesus, which I would have called the old "Come and see" approach! No one will ever be interested in salvation until the Holy Spirit says that, "Come and see!" That's what Jesus often said to potential followers! "Jesus saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day." John 1:39

His disciples soon adopted that method. "And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see." John 1:46

Other developments on the way to Jesus, beginning to really "seek" Him! Hungering and thirsting after Righteousness! This kind of faith: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Mark 9:24

Or this kind: "But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto Him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs." This foreigner, a woman with a demon-possessed daughter, was in earnest! She would settle for the crumbs of salvation, so strong was her desire for help! Mark 7:27-28

Here's a man certainly at that "seeking" stage! "And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Here in Acts 16:26-31, preparation had been made! It took an earthquake, among other things, but the man was "eager!"

Then, finally, of course, there is faith itself. Believing in Jesus! The act by which God reaches down and saves our lost souls! Redemption realized! Being born-again!

It's like Luke wrote at the end of Acts, discussing the effects of Paul's preaching. "And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not." Acts 28:24

Those who truly "believed" were truly "saved!"

That's the "full fruit," the "heavy head of wheat" in the stalk! Salvation, full and free! Salvation eternal and joyful!

But where in all the Bible can even a "hint" be found? A "hint" of any such path to Jesus?

Right here! "And Jesus said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Mark 4:26-29

It's God Who is in charge of man's salvation!

It will be done His Way ... or no way at all!

Jesus is right when He claims, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

So is Peter when he preaches: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

And so is John when he relates, quoting our Lord: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

And Paul, too! "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10

Maybe it can all happen in a second!

All I know is this. It's got to happen!

Whatever it takes!

Saved!

Saved by Grace!

Saved by the Blood of Jesus!

Saved and knowing it!

Can life get any better?

Jesus again: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10, to which we all say a hearty "Amen!"

There's nothing like being saved!

Oh, one more! "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Jesus, in Luke 10:20!

Praise the Lord!

Are you saved?

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 29:

Our Bible Text is succinct yet loaded with meaning.

It will only take us few seconds to read it again. "And Jesus said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Mark 4:26-29

I just read where a Preacher labeled this Paragraph "Jesus' Parable of the Secret Growth of the Seed!"

It clearly does show us the awesome power of the Seed, the precious Word of God, which we preach!

Today we have arrived at Verse 29. "But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

I'm taking a slightly different view than most preaches here. I do not see in these words a reference to the end of the age, or to the death of the saints of God. I see, based on the whole context, the salvation of a lost soul!

He or she, springing from the seed planted some time ago, has sprouted and strengthened and been "born-again!"

Yes, from conviction to faith to regeneration, however one words it all, this new believer has exhibited "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear."

Like I said, Saved!

Not some empty profession of faith!

Not some bubble-gum popping, giggling, silly walk down a church aisle, absent Holy Ghost conviction thing either!

Not merely some decision-card signing!

Not water baptism, either!

Genuine, through-it-all conversion!

Someone who has not believed in vain!

With all the "things that accompany salvation," Hebrews 6:9.

And ... when they're ready ... put in the sickle!

Harvest the fruit, ripe fruit!

"But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

Yes!

"Brought forth" is "paradidomai!" It means "to give" (in Greek , "didomai") "alongside" (Greek, "para") and pictures souls being saved literally as gifts of God! Gifts to the Church! But even more so, gifts to the Lord Jesus Christ! Rewards for Calvary!

In Romans 15:16 Paul uses a similar word picture. The Gentiles being saved under his ministry were typified as "gifts" to God, "living" love offerings! Tokens of worship! "That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost."

Wow!

When a lost soul reaches that height of readiness, the apex of Holy Ghost conviction ... the time is right!

Reach them for Jesus!

"Immediately," says our Verse!

One of Mark's favorite words, "eutheos" means "straightway, forthwith," in our language, "get with it!" I find our word forty times in Mark's sixteen short chapters!

No time to waste!

When the Holy Spirit has them "ready," cast the net!

Give the invitation!

Throw out the life-line!

"But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

The verb "putteth in" is really official, too. It is a translation of "apostello." In Greek "stello" means "to set in order, to arrange, to prepare or equip." See here the word "apostle." This reaping is serious business, for the King!

A "sickle" is a reaping tool, "drepanon." It's from "drepo," just meaning "to pluck." Cut the wheat! Separate it from its worldly surroundings! Take it to the Barn, God's Barn, maybe even a picture of the Church! There it can be used, milled, to feed the hungry! To worship the Lord! To nourish the men of God! So useful, good grain!

This is "harvest" time! "Therismos" means "the act of reaping, the season of gathering." It hails from "therizo," meaning "to cut off." And "theros" means "summer!"

There's a time to sow ... and a time to reap! Godly soul-winners need to know how to discern those situations!

The final verb, "is come," is in Greek "paristemi," just "to stand" (in Greek, "histemi") right "alongside" (in Greek, "para" again) something or someone. It "has arrived." It is "standing by." It is "present."

Blessed days of harvest, when the fruit is fully ripe!

Gently touch it! It will fall into your hand!

Let the breeze shake the tree, nearly imperceptibly, ever so slightly, and ripe fruit will begin to freely fall.

Get the basket ready!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

CONCLUSION:

The whole Text discusses entrance into "the Kingdom of God." That's how Jesus began the parable. "And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground ...." Mark 4:26, where the "He" is our Lord.

The kingdom of God is that entire body of Believers, of all ages I believe, who have trusted God the Son as their Redeemer and Saviour, really as their All-in-All!

This short Sermon of Jesus' is, somehow, telling us how men get saved!

I believe, over the last seven lessons, we have discovered at least a few "nuggets" of wisdom in our journey!

Indeed, the salvation of a sinner is the work of God!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

Thank YOU for visiting our Website!

You are visitor number ...

Hit Counter

The Fundamental Top 500

 

Copyright 2008 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.