|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:21-34 These declarations were intended to call the attention of the disciples to the word of Christ. By his thus instructing them, they were made able to instruct others; as candles are lighted, not to be covered, but to be placed on a candlestick, that they may give light to a room. This parable of the good seed, shows the manner in which the kingdom of God makes progress in the world. Let but the word of Christ have the place it ought to have in a soul, and it will show itself in a good conversation. It grows gradually: first the blade; then the ear; after that the full corn in the ear. When it is sprung up, it will go forward. The work of grace in the soul is, at first, but the day of small things; yet it has mighty products even now, while it is in its growth; but what will there be when it is perfected in heaven!
Verse 29. - But when the fruit is ripe (ὅταν δὲ παραδῷ ὁ καρπὸς). The verb here is active; it might be rendered delivereth up, or alloweth. It is a peculiar expression, though evidently meaning "when the fruit is ready." He putteth forth the sickle, because the harvest is come. As soon as Christ's work is completed, whether in the Church or in the individual, "immediately" the sickle is sent forth. As soon as a Christian is ready for heaven, God calls him away; and therefore we may infer that it is unwise, if not sinful, for a Christian, pressed it may be with sickness or trouble, to be eager in wishing to leave this world. "It is one thing to be willing to go when God pleases; it is another thing to speak as though we wished to hasten our departure." "When the fruit is ripe, immediately he putteth forth the sickle." If therefore, the sickle is not yet sent forth, it is because the fruit is not yet fully ripe. The afflictions of the faithful are God's means to ripen them for heaven. They are the dressing which the Lord of the vineyard employs to make the tree more fruitful, to make the Christian more fruitful in grace, and more ripe for glory.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But when the fruit is brought forth,.... Unto perfection, and is fully ripe; signifying that when grace is brought to maturity, and faith is performed with power, and the good work begun is perfected; then, as the husbandman,
immediately he putteth the sickle; and cuts it down, and gathers it in;
because the harvest is come; at death or at the end of the world, which the harvest represents: when all the elect of God are called by grace, and grace in them is brought to its perfection, and they have brought forth all the fruit they were ordained to bear, they will then be all gathered in; either by Christ himself who comes into his garden, and gathers his lilies by death; or by the angels, the reapers, at the close of time, who will gather the elect from the four winds; or the ministers of the Gospel, who shall come again with joy, bringing their sheaves with them; being able to observe with pleasure a greater increase, and more fruit of their labours, than they knew of, or expected.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. But when the fruit is brought forth—to maturity
immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come—This charmingly points to the transition from the earthly to the heavenly condition of the Christian and the Church.
Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mr 4:30-32).
For the exposition of this portion, see on Mt 13:31, 32.
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