Mark alone records this parable: He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
Placed beyond the parable of the Sower (vv.1-9) and its explanation, it is easy for the significance of this to be lost in the fast-paced narrative of Mark’s gospel. In the parable of the Sower, the meaning of the interim time before the fruits appear has a positive sense: the time of waiting is a time for sowing, an opportunity for seed to be scattered in the field. There is also a teaching that in that interim period there will be barriers, resistance, and problems encountered in the sowing of the seed as it comes to fruition.