Anglican Morning Devotion for 30 September 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And he said, “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” (Mark 4:26-29; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The matter of the promised Seed of Abraham is vitally important for us to understand if we will not go down with our lights darkened and alone at the coming long sleep of death. I can think of no greater sorrow than to die alone and without a Friend beyond Jordan Waters upon whom we may hang our hopes as did Israel on the willows by the rivers of Babylon. (see Ps 137:1-2)
From this text, the Seed is revealed though veiled in mysteries that only the redeemed can fully grasp. This text is preceded by the announcement that certain Greeks came down for the Passover feast inquiring of Philip to see Jesus. We are reminded in our Lord’s response that the hour comes when it will be too late to seek our Lord. Just as the five virgins without oil in their lamps arrived too late to be admitted to the Marriage Banquet and found the door closed and barred; so will the day come when time will be no more and appeal can no longer be made to the Throne of Mercy. The Greeks come too late, for it is the time of the Lord’s Passion.
The greater mystery revealed here is of the Seed of Promise made to Abraham and reaffirmed through the lineage of David the King – Jesus Christ. Jesus makes reference to Himself as the corn of wheat (or seed) that must fall into the earth and die if newness of Eternal Life is made available to those who are the Elect of God. The death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord has borne fruit far greater than one hundredfold. Now it is this Seed of which our devotion is written today. We too must die to self and live for Christ as He died for us and rose for us.
Remember when the Sower of Matthew 13 went forth to sow – observe what happens. In this parable, the four different types of soil represents the different kinds of heart that receive the Word of God (Seed). Remember, there is life in the kernel of the seed of any plant. It is the SEED that conveys life, not the fruit. But that life must take root in fertile soil.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (JOHN 12:24b)
Well, now, what is the Word of the Kingdom? It is none other than the Eternal Word of God pre-existent from all eternity past – that Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us. That Word is the fruitful Seed promised to Abraham. Please bear in mind that Isaac came by miraculous birth. He was placed on the altar by his father as an offering to God. Any offering placed on an altar is holy and dedicated to the Lord – thus the spiritual descendents of Isaac (you and me) who believe in the miraculous “new birth” in Christ.
We all know that Jesus is the lineal descendent, according to the law of descent, of King David. There are two lines of descent given in Scripture for the ‘legal’ descent of Christ who was the only Begotten of the Father in reality. The first lineage given in Matthew renders the legal lineage of Christ through the Royal line of David and Solomon. That given in the Gospel of Luke provides the priestly and prophetic lineage of Christ through Nathan. Interestingly, there is one harlot (Rachab) and one Moabitess (Ruth) included in the lineage of Jesus. Matthew’s lineage begins at Abraham to whom the Promise of a Redeemer was given, and descends down to Joseph – the ‘presumed’ father of Jesus. Luke’s Gospel begins with Jesus and goes all the way back up to God because He made the privileges of Heaven available to His people and ascended to the Father.
In all of this, we see the Seed of Promise being fulfilled and culminated in Christ. Please note the mathematical precision of biblical prophecy: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17)
Are we of the modern true church the children of Abraham? I hope so for the Bible clearly tells us: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29) Does the world, and her worldly church, hate us? Yes, they may, but what a blessed hate it is! “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” (Galatians 4:28-29)