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Parable of the Growing Seed

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Title: Parable of the Growing Seed  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Parables of Jesus, Gospel of Mark, Parable of the Unjust Steward, Parable of the empty jar, The Grain of Wheat
Collection: Gospel of Mark, Parables of Jesus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Parable of the Growing Seed

Christ of the Cornfield, Frank Dicksee

The Parable of the Growing Seed (also called the Seed Growing Secretly) is a parable of Jesus which appears in Mark 4:26-29. It is a parable about growth in the Kingdom of God. It follows the Parable of the Sower and the Lamp under a bushel, and precedes the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

A version of the Parable of the Growing Seed also appears in the non canonical Gospel of Thomas (Saying 21d).[1]


  • Narrative 1
  • Interpretation 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The sower as illustrated in Hortus deliciarum compiled by Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace (12th century).

The parable is as follows:


This parable can be seen as related to the parable of the Sower,[2] although it does not follow that parable immediately. One interpretation is that it serves as a "correction provided for any ancient or modern disciples who might be feeling discouraged with the amount of fruitless labor they had extended toward those" who failed to hear the message of which the parable of the Sower spoke.[2] Even when the farmer sleeps, the Kingdom of God is still growing. Its growth is due to God, not man,[3] and follows its own timetable.[4]

Illustration together with the preceding parable of the lamp under a bushel.

Unlike the parable of the Sower, the seed here seems to represent the Kingdom of God itself.[5] Differences in interpretation result from emphasising different aspects of the parable, such as the seed, the sower, or the earth.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation and Patterson/Meyer translation.
  2. ^ a b George R. Knight, Exploring Mark: A Devotional Commentary, Review and Herald Pub Assoc, 2004, ISBN 0-8280-1837-5, pp. 107-108.
  3. ^ Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables, Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, p. 97.
  4. ^ James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, Eerdmans, 2002, ISBN 0-85111-778-3, pp. 142-144.
  5. ^ Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus, Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, p. 213.
  6. ^ Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus, Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, pp. 184-190.
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