And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:…
In order to obtain the leading thought of the parable, and so get the key to all that follows, we must reverse the explanatory proposition, "The seed is the Word of God," and take it thus — "The Word of God is seed." The principle of germination is essentially Divine, and the germ idea is the distinctive characteristic of God's work. Man's sole method of increase is collection; God ever multiplies by scattering. We fill our garners with the harvested grain, and call it wealth; but its only end is destruction. God sends His sunshine to dry the ripening ear, and His wind to shake out the bursting seeds, and lo! for every fallen grain an hundred like to itself, all instinct with the same reproductive energy. Man constructs his wondrous mechanisms and quickens them into life with the subtle forces which he wrests from nature and compels to his will. But they wear out or rust out in time, and never reproduce themselves after their kind. If he plant them, they will not grow; if he break them and scatter their parts, they are utterly destroyed. Or he builds his mighty monuments and leaves them for time to crumble; and long centuries after we dig from the earth their imperishable remnants which have lain as they fell. Under God's law a tree shoots heavenward, more complex and marvellous than the grandest result of human ingenuity. Its fruit falls, and from its decay another tree springs into being; a branch is out and thrust into the ground, and that, too, becomes a tree; a bud is slipped off and inserted in a growth of diverse character, but it becomes a limb, and bears fruit, and reproduces after its own kind. And even if God's monuments, the everlasting mountains, crumble away, they make soil which enters into living organisms, which die and are resolved into dust, which is upheaved by some terrible throe of nature, and lo! a mountain again. Nothing ever produced by man can germinate. Nothing produced by God ever failed to do so, if placed in the proper conditions. Therefore, if the Bible be seed, it is God's Word. But if the Bible be God's Word, it must be seed; its distinctive character must be the germinative principle. It is the revelation to man of God's truth. But it cannot possibly be all that truth, nor even any part of that truth in its fullest development, because God's truth must be infinite, and this finite world could, therefore, never contain it. Being seed, however, it contains the germ of truth which, if subjected to the requisite conditions, will inevitably multiply itself in infinite series and ratio after its own kind. He who receives this seed as in good ground will, with absolute certainty, in due season bring forth as bounteous a harvest as his capacities may admit. He who receives God's revelation under. standingly, becomes possessed of all its potential results of Divine knowledge, which, under proper intellectual and spiritual culture, will be developed to the full capacity of his intellectual and moral constitution in this life and in the life hereafter.
(Robert Wilson, M. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: