Understanding Seeds in the Bible! Except a Seed Fall into the Ground and Die! Part 4
(Ver 2.2) This is now Part 4 of a series of lessons on seeds. Seeds are a vast complex subject found in the Bible. God uses natural seed concepts and applies them to spiritual things in repeated references found in the Bible. Today I will show you some more of the references that Jesus used to describe why He was here and how that He was both a physical and a spiritual “seed”. In the last lesson we reviewed the parable of the Sower and examined the symbolic elements to gain an understanding of what Jesus called the most important “parable”. In learning the concepts of this parable we can transfer much of that knowledge to other parables that Jesus taught us. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning, I would suggest that you stop and go back and start reading with “Part 1”. I have been going through the Bible showing you several different things that God calls seeds. Here is the original list again:
- Natural Grass Seeds
- Natural Fruit Seeds
- The Seed of a Man, His Sperm
- The Seed of a Woman, Her Children
- The Seed of a Man and a Woman, their offspring
- The Word of God
- The Seed of your Mouth, Your Words
- The Body of Jesus Christ
- The Church
- Your Body
These are of course not every type of seed mentioned in the Bible, only some of the ones that I wanted to show you. We have gone through and reviewed some verses about natural seeds in Genesis and learned some applicable laws that apply to every type of seed. The first law was that a seed always produces after its own kind. The second law of seeds is that the seed is always within itself. Both of these concepts transfer to many other types of seeds revealed to us in the Bible and you should understand them. If you recall I showed that every future generation or descendant of a man, is said to be in the man. God shows us that whatever the father did, is what their descendants did.
Today I want to show you another parable that Jesus taught us about seeds. After reading this you should become aware of why it is so important to know and to understand this subject. Let’s begin by reading in Matthew 13:31:
Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Again, Jesus refers to the Kingdom of Heaven as being like a man who planted a seed. However, this lesson while very similar is very different than the previous lesson of the Parable of the Sower. Both are about a man, both are about seeds and both involve planting seed in the ground to grow something. But, this time the seed is said to be singular. This is a new perspective on an old subject about a new type of seed or a new concept about the nature of seeds. In the Parable of the Sower the seed represented the Word of God (Luke 8:11). However, in this parable the seed is something completely different while being completely the same thing at the same time. Hopefully you will understand why I said that as we continue to learn. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a man that plants “One” seed and it grows into a massive tree in a field. Jesus is referring to a specific seed and qualifies it to be a “mustard” seed. Any time you qualify a noun you limit the scope of the noun and narrow the meaning. In other words, you exclude every other seed, for the type described. What we can see is that Jesus was teaching that NOT just any seed will work; it has to be a mustard seed. The mustard seed is not widely used in the Bible, but perhaps we will look at some more references to it later. What we learn is a symbolic meaning that not just any type of seed will work for what God wants to accomplish. God selected a specific seed to accomplish His plan and we will soon discover that Jesus was this seed:
Mat 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Jesus calls this type of seed to be the least among all seeds. Jesus could be referring to the physical size of the seed, but yet I believe that is not what He is saying. We know today that there are many seeds that are smaller seeds than a mustard seed in the world. So Jesus must be referring to something else, a symbolic characteristic and not a physical attribute of the seed. What we should learn from this verse is that most great things have very humble beginnings. It is the classic analogy of the fact that the greatest oak trees come from little acorns. I know of practically nothing that starts big and just stays big. We are being presented a new perspective of the seed concept that all great things usually start as very small things. This goes against human nature, doesn’t it? Everyone wants to hit the lottery and win millions of dollars and then think that will solve all of their problems. However, God is teaching us a different lesson using seeds. This is part of the message that Jesus is attempting to get over to us. This is some of the key reasons of why the natural nation of Israel missed the first coming of their Messiah. Jesus did not come how they expected him to come, nor did He do what they desired Him to do. They were looking for a great and powerful savior and not a humble man that would not even save Himself. The disciples would ask Jesus “are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel now” (Acts 1:6). Israel was looking for the grand restoration and not for a small beginning. This is a classic example of the misunderstanding of the importance of how seeds work. Israel did not recognize the Seed of God as He walked among them. Jesus came to the earth as just a small, insignificant humble man. Jesus was God almighty who became like the least of all the men on the planet. Why would God almighty take the time to wash the feet of His disciples? Why did Jesus do this? It all goes back to seeds. God was planting a seed that would grow into a great spiritual Kingdom and not a physical Kingdom. This Kingdom did not come with a natural conquering mighty force, this Kingdom did not have a natural army with natural weapons, and this Kingdom did not come with much pomp and exalting circumstances. In fact this Kingdom cannot be physically seen at all, unless Christians choose to display it to others. Here is why Jesus said that He came to the earth:
Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth muchfruit.
Wow! That is a very deep statement about the reality of how seeds work. Who is Jesus talking about? Who is this seed? You should be able to see that Jesus is this seed that He is referring to. Jesus prophesied His death, His burial and the resulting fruit that would spring forth from that planting. Jesus predicts that there will be much fruit that will come from His death. How was Jesus able to do this? It was because Jesus understood the concept of seeds. Plant a little seed and get a great harvest. From little humble beginnings can grow great and mighty things. This is a key seed principle and law that applies to what God was doing on the earth through Jesus Christ. In John 12:24, Jesus says that a kernel of corn (a seed) will be alone if it does not die. I believe that God is trying to teach us that the Seed of Jesus has been planted to produce more people in the world like Jesus. This is just a basic typology of how the seed produces more of itself in the earth. Just ONE little seed planted can produce a huge harvest over time. Let me show you some prophetic verses in the O.T. concerning Jesus:
Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
You can read the Bible without studying and totally miss what is said. In this verse if you do not look up the definition of the key words you will breeze right over what God is trying to teach you about. The Key word that I want to look at is “Branch”. It is qualified to be a righteous Branch so we know this is Jesus. The Hebrew word “Branch” in this verse is a word that mean “sprouts”, “springs up”, “buds”. These are all “SEED” concept words. You plant a righteous seed and you get a righteous harvest. That is what God is attempting to get you to see. The coming Messiah was a SEED man! Let me show you another verse of prophecy about this seed of God:
Eze 34:29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
Here is another verse about the coming Messiah and Israel missed it. God is saying I will “raise up” a “PLANT” of character. This word for “Plant” in the Hebrew means something that is planted in a garden. Sure sounds like a seed to me, how about you? I just wanted to show you some O.T. examples of this coming seed so that you would not think that I just make this stuff up. It is really amazing what the Bible says when you can see it.
What have we learned? We learned that God planted a seed and this was a lowly humble man called Jesus Christ. But, through this humble beginning we see the growth that has transpired over the course of 2000 years. The church of Jesus Christ is now greater in strength and numbers than at any time in the past 2000 years. I am a firm believer that Jesus is expecting a triumphant church, a great church that has made herself ready. God planted the original seed and it has grown over the course of time and developed further into this great prophesied tree that the birds of the air can now build nests within.
So maybe I should explain a little better the difference between the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Mustard Seed. You see in the parable of the sower, the seed is the Word of God. The Word of God is being spread by the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ throughout the Gospels. But, if you have studied the Bible you also know that Jesus Christ is the Word of God!. According to John 1:1, “in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”. By simple laws of mathematics we can substitute “Seed” for “Word” in this verse and see that it now says this:
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Seed, and the Seed was with God, and the Seed was God.
From the laws of mathematics we can apply the truth that if A=B, then B=A and “Word” = “Seed” and see a new simple truth, that God is the Seed and that God had the Seed within Himself. Then we can learn from reading down in the chapter the following:
Joh 1:14 And the Seed (Word) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
God’s Seed takes on flesh and lives and walked among us. We can now better understand how Jesus can call himself the Seed. We can also better understand how God can plant this Seed Jesus and expect a spiritual harvest. Jesus was a spiritual seed of God and God now expects a harvest of more spiritual fruit. God believes that you can plant a seed and get a harvest. The ending of a matter is always greater than its beginning. I think where people get confused is in the fact that Jesus is multiple seeds simultaneously and this certainly makes our life more complicated in understanding the differences. Let me give you a list of the types of Seed Jesus is Associated with in the Bible:
- Word of God (Parable of Sower)
- Spiritual Seed of God (Mustard Seed)
- Natural Seed of God (Son of God)
- Natural Seed of Mary (Son of Man)
- Natural Seed of David (Son of David)
- Natural Seed of Abraham (Son of Abraham)
- Natural Seed of Adam (Son of Man)
This is probably not a complete list, but it is all that I can come up with right now. If I locate other reference I will update this list. I will end this blog here and hope that you have learned some new things from the Bible. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series, you can go to “Part 5“.
Posted on July 29, 2010, in Bible Study, Seeds, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Genesis, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, seeds, Symbolism, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.