Seed and Fruit

Seed and Fruit

On the second day of creation in addition to dry ground appearing, God said in Genesis 1:11-12 (NIV), “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.N39

God decreed that the land produces vegetables that produce seed so that they may increase, and fruit with seed in it, so fruit too may increase. If we look at Genesis 1:11 (NIV), God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.N40 What you will notice is that the last four words of Genesis 1:11 (NIV) are, “and it was so.”N41

Those four words “and it was so” means that whatever God said came into being, that which God spoke about obeyed God. In Genesis 1:12 we see that the land obeyed God when the land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.N42

Everything that produced fruit produced it according to their kind and it was good in Gods’ eyes. What that means is that an apple did not produce an orange, or a potato did not produce a strawberry.  Everything produced according to its kind, and that was important to God.

In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus wanted us to learn something important about fruits when He said, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit. But a corrupt tree bears evil fruit. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will know them.M256

The fruit is how we can identify if the tree is good. When the land produced trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to its kind, God saw that it was good. Therefore, fruit that doesn’t produce seed isn’t good. What was it about the seed it produced that was good?

For that matter what exactly is a seed?

In Merriam-Webster, a seed has many meanings. The first meaning defines a seed as a small object produced by a plant from which a new plant can grow.MW30

We see that the plants that God decreed to exist in Genesis 1:11, produced vegetation from its seed. The vegetation that was produced; is what is recorded in Genesis 1:12 (NIV) when the land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.N43

What’s also interesting is this additional definition in the dictionary where it states; a seed is the beginning of something which continues to develop or grow.MW30

If we look at Matthew 17:20 where Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you.M257

Like a seed, faith is the beginning of something, which continues to develop and grow. As our faith grows, nothing will be impossible. Faith is the seed that can move mountains and grows until nothing is impossible.

FAITH IS A SEED THAT GROWS UNTIL NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

In Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus tells us another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. This indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest among herbs and is a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”M258

This is a profound parable that Jesus used because He talks about three key things:

  1. The kingdom of heaven
  2. A mustard seed
  3. Man took and planted in his field

If we read that passage very carefully, we see that Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed. Now, if we overlay the description of a mustard seed with the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of heaven is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it is the largest and becomes a tree for birds to come and rest.

To truly understand this parable, we first need to understand the three key things that Jesus talks about.

We are going to start by understanding the meaning of the word field. In Merriam-Webster a field is an open area of land without trees or buildings, it is an area of land that has a special use, and a field is an area of work or study.MW31

Based on that definition what does the part of the parable where it says, the man took and planted in his field actually mean?

The field which belonged to man could be an open area of land without trees, which has a special purpose in an area of work or study.

The question that needs to be asked is, if the field is a literal meaning of an area of land or, is a figurative meaning used to describe something?

To understand that we need to remember Romans 14:8 (NIV). If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.N44

If the field man uses to plant the seed is his, and if we belong to the Lord, then it would mean that the field would also belong to the Lord.

Now that we have established that the field belongs to the Lord. We should also know that Jesus is Lord from these words in Philippians 2:10-11 that state, at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.M259

Now that we have established that the field belongs to Jesus and Jesus is Lord; it is also important to know what else belongs to Jesus. Nothing says it better than these words from Jesus Himself in John 16:15, all that belongs to the Father is mine.N45

So not only does the field belong to Jesus but everything that belongs to God the Father is also His. In 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV) it says, for we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.N46

This would mean that not only are we God’s field but also Jesus’s. We are not only co-workers in God’s service but also in Jesus’s and we are not only God’s building but also Jesus’s.

In essence, the last part of the parable is saying that man took and planted a seed in his field, a field that belongs to God and Jesus.

So now if we look at the other two key things that Jesus spoke about, the kingdom of heaven and the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32.

Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. This indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest among herbs and is a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”M260

From the three key things we mentioned earlier, we have just finished talking about the third. Now let us understand the first part of the parable, which is the kingdom of heaven. I’m not sure if you picked up on what Jesus said, He said the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and planted.

To understand a parable, we must remember that a parable is a riddle spoken by Jesus. A riddle according to Merriam-Webster is a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed.MW32

Why did Jesus speak in riddles (parables)?

His disciples wanted to know the exact same thing and in Matthew 13:10-13 when they asked Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

He answered them, “It is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For to him who has, will more be given, and he will have abundance. But from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Therefore, I speak to them in parables: ‘Because they look, but do not see. And they listen, but they do not hear, neither do they understand.’M261

There is another reason Jesus spoke in riddles and that reason can be found by what Jesus says in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.M262

Jesus came to fulfill the words of the Prophets, and that is what He continued to explain in Matthew 13:14:16.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: ‘By hearing, you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing, you will see and shall not perceive; for this people’s heart has grown dull.

Their ears have become hard of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts, and turn, and I should heal them.’

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.M263

The words that Jesus was fulfilling can be found in Matthew 13:34-35, Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables. And without a parable He did not speak to them, to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will say things which have been kept secret since the foundation of the world.”M264

Before we go further, we really need to understand the hidden meaning of why a riddle (parable) was used.

This is where the historical meaning of the word riddle is amazing. Merriam-Webster records that the origin of the word riddle, is middle english riddil, from Old English hriddel; akin to Latin cribrum sieve, cernere to sift.MW32

What many people don’t know is that a riddle as defined by Merriam-Webster is a coarse sieve. It gets better, the next definition is mind blowing and will explain why Jesus spoke in riddles. Merriam-Webster defines a riddle as the following: to separate (as grain from chaff) with a riddle.MW32

It was a riddle that would be used in ancient times to separate grain from the chaff. What is the grain that is separated from the chaff that Jesus is interested in?

The answer to that is wheat!

Let’s read and understand wants happens to the sower, the man that took the seed and planted in his field. This is yet another parable that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 13:3-9.

Then He told them many things in parables, saying, “Listen! A sower went out to sow. While he sowed, some seeds fell beside the path, and the birds came and devoured them. But other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up because they did not have deep soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched. And because they did not take root, they withered away. Some seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. But other seeds fell into good ground and produced grain: a hundred, sixty, or thirty times as much. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”M265

We need to understand the seed and its relation to the kingdom of heaven. To understand that, we need to understand the next parable Jesus said in Matthew 13:24-30.

He told them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. But when the shoots had sprung up and produced fruit, the weeds also appeared.

“So the servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’

“He said to them, ‘An enemy did this.’

“The servants said to him, ‘Will you then have us go and gather them up?’

“But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the weeds, you pull up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up the weeds first and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”M266

Jesus spoke to the people in parables so that He could separate the wheat from the chaff, which the weeds cling to. What does all this have to do with understanding the seed?

The answer to that can be found in Matthew 13:19-23.

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one who received seed beside the path. But he who received the seed on rocky ground is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, eventually he falls away. He also who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit. Some produce a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”M267

The word is the seed, which is what the kingdom of heaven is and that is the answer to the riddle and Jesus’s parable in Matthew 13:31-32 where Jesus tells us that, “The kingdom of heaven (word) is like a grain of mustard seed (word) which a man took and sowed in his field. This indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest among herbs and is a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”M268

Once we understand that the kingdom of heaven is the word, we can begin to unlock another parable in Matthew 13:44 where Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid. And with joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”M269

When we insert the key to the parable, it reads, “Again, the kingdom of heaven (word) is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid. And with joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

This man found the word which is also the seed to be like hidden treasure, and he sold everything he had to buy a field which had the word hidden in it. Why did this man do that?

The answer to that is in Matthew 13:37 when Jesus answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.”M270

The man that sold everything to buy the field where he found the hidden word did so because he was buying the good seed (word) sowed by the Son of Man.

The Son of Man is what Jesus referred to Himself as in Matthew 9:6 when Jesus said, “that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”M271

Another interesting meaning of the word seed from Merriam-Webster is the descendants of one individual.MW30

The reference to descendants by using the word seed can be found in Genesis 3:15 (KJV). And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.K1