“He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: ‘Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds.’” (Matthew 13:3) Among the many stories and illustrations Jesus used to describe the Kingdom of God, I best relate to the ones involving planting. Even though I’m not a farmer, I do love gardening and the outdoors. It’s easy to understand words and concepts involving farming such as: soil, field, sow, seed, water, growth, weeds, rocks, fruit, workers, harvest, etc.
In planting the Gospel of the Kingdom among unreached peoples, it’s helpful to know about the kind of seeds we sow. In the natural world, a seed is a group of forces combined together, ready to burst to life. The same thing is true spiritually.
In Matt 13:19 Jesus speaks of seed as “the message about the Kingdom”, but He goes on to say, “the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom.” (vs. 38) So here, the message is contained within people. When people of the Kingdom group together and commit to love one another and obey Jesus’ commands—life and growth will burst forth.
In other words the seeds we plant in unreached fields are “Jesus-centered fellowships.”
E. Stanley Jones put it this way:
“The most absolutely potent thing on this planet is a small group disciplined to great ends. The people of the Kingdom are the seeds of the new order. They do not give the message—they are the message. They do not seek an answer—they are the answer, the Kingdom in miniature. There is nothing so absolutely potent as a group unbreakably bonded to each other and unreservedly given to God. ”
Through the words and works of local disciples—these Kingdom seeds—the Gospel spreads within their families, among their neighbors, throughout their society and across the nations.
As I described this idea to my artist friend Dave Hudson, he began to think of a visual way to illustrate “Kingdom Seeds.” Inside the circle (seed) which Dave drew, we see Kingdom disciples united under our King’s crown. As they listen to Jesus speak through His Word and His Spirit, He leads them to take Kingdom-focused action.
Seeds like these are the “most absolutely potent thing” to transform the nations. Let’s plant Kingdom seeds!
Question for reflection: How well did the message of the Kingdom shine through your life this week?
Kingdom prayer: Lord Jesus, help us plant Kingdom Seeds that burst to life and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as we plant!