| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 2 & 3 - Page 68 of 130 Index | Zoom | |
by Medo-Persia, which in its turn was succeeded by Greece. This we know not merely
from history, but from Scripture (Dan. 8: 18-27). The question as to whether Rome
succeeded Greece may form a profitable consideration at some future time; what we
know is that when the Lord Jesus was on earth,
"Satan showed Him the kingdoms of the world (hoikoumene) in a moment of time;
and the devil said unto Him, All this will I give Thee, and the glory of them (note "Thine
is the kingdom, the power and the glory'), for unto me hath it been delivered, and to
whomsoever I will I give it" (Luke 4: 5, 6).
This brings us to the words of the parable again, "the birds of the heavens lodged in its
branches." The parable of the Sower has settled the meaning of the birds--satan and his
agents. Dan. 10: 13 and 20 show us that satan had an emissary at the courts of Persia and
Greece, a principality or power conducting affairs for the "prince of this world."
Inasmuch as idolatry is allied to demons, it seems probable that the dominion given by
God to the Gentiles was given up to satan, who is seen in full possession in the days
when the Lord Jesus was on earth.
The normal, or true kingdom growth, and the abnormal, or Gentiles-Satanic
development, may be better seen by viewing the parable as follows:--
A1 | "The seed sown." Sowing.
B1 | "Least of all." Its beginning--small.
viewed as from
A2 | "When it is grown." Growing.
Abraham to its final
B2 | "Greatest of herbs." Its real end--great herb. establishment.
A3 | "Becometh a tree." Becoming.
The kingdom as it
B3 | "Fowls. . . . in branches."
became during the
Its end under Gentiles.
"times of the Gentiles."
Thus the small seed grew into a tree and became a lodging place of satan and his
angels. No wonder, then, that the preaching of the kingdom gospel was resisted and
ended as it did. The Lord knew that the times of the Gentiles must run their course
before the seed would be sown in good ground. Viewed in this light the parable was full
of meaning to those anxious hearts who gathered around the Lord in the days of His
rejection. Understanding this parable as a revelation of one of the "secrets of the
kingdom," they would be upheld in their, apparently, fruitless ministry.
In the next parable the Lord reveals the last factor in this sad history, but that we must
leave for our next paper.