The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.
Mark 4:28, NLT
This concept of physical growth is now applied by Jesus to us. He has cultivated us, and we must insist on a maturation. We sprout, and extend ourselves in a growth that means, ‘there is now life’ here. Life is not mechanically rigid. It has nothing to do with plastic, steel girders or cement. It is emphatically not a concrete issue. It is life! It has a very different definition.
Jesus takes a seed, that seed splits open. A green leaf pushes through, and it is growing! Put into the ground, and watered, it will have life! It is living. This all seems easy and obvious now. “Of course,” we say. “I understand that.” But when Jesus taught this (even as simple as it is) the implications were profound. The earth seemed to shake when He declared this truth.
There was a rigidity to the spiritual world in Jesus’ day.
This principle of life, and growth, and greenness was not at all descriptive of Pharisees. The legalistic and cold hardness was unmoving, unrelenting and unyielding. For many, this is a really major issue–the spiritual life was supposed to be have more organic freshness, then this.
But a living life of spiritual growth should be more than that; it was meant to be energizing and life-giving. I remember seeing a mannequin in a mall (it was dressed in nicer clothes than I was.) But although this display was in human form, it was definitely inanimate. Going up to it, I tried to talk with him. I wanted to explain things of the Spirit, but he just stood there, staring. He was decidely devoid of real life.
Ridiculous? Perhaps. But having eternal life is profound. We are like department store mannequins that have been made to really live. And there is a growth that now takes place. There is a supernatural, organic development–its this that should really infuse us with the life of the Spirit. Our life is constantly and wonderfully changing, it should infuse us with a joy and elation we can’t keep a lid on.