Mark 4:28

Of herself (automath). Automatically, we say. The secret of growth is in the seed, not in the soil nor in the weather nor in the cultivating. These all help, but the seed spontaneously works according to its own nature. The word automath is from auto (self) and memaa desire eagerly from obsolete maw. Common word in all Greek history. Only one other example in N.T., in Acts 12:10 when the city gate opens to Peter of its own accord. "The mind is adapted to the truth, as the eye to the light" (Gould). So we sow the seed, God's kingdom truth, and the soil (the soul) is ready for the seed. The Holy Spirit works on the heart and uses the seed sown and makes it germinate and grow, "first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear" (prwton corton, eiten stacun, eiten plhrh siton en twi stacui). This is the law and order of nature and also of grace in the kingdom of God. Hence it is worth while to preach and teach. "This single fact creates the confidence shown by Jesus in the ultimate establishment of his kingdom in spite of the obstacles which obstruct its progress" (Gould).

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