“All by itself, the soil produces grain ~ first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.”
Jesus was explaining that the kingdom of heaven is like a seed planted in the ground. It grows almost miraculously. The church is, indeed, like this. Planted some 2000 years ago, it has survived through every adversity and attack contrived by man. Sometimes the attacks were even from within. But at such times, just when it looked as though it was going to die, just like a seed dying in the earth, it would begin to sprout anew and grow up stronger than ever.
A little seed turning into a stalk is miraculous and amazing. The survival of the church for 2000 years in a hostile world is even more miraculous and amazing.
The church rose up in Jerusalem, then died there. It next rose up and became strong in today’s Turkey, then died there. It next rose up and became strong in Greece, then died there. Then in France. Then in Germany. It arrived in England with an apostle and grew strong until the pope claimed jurisdiction in the 1300s. Then spiritual wars and threatenings and burnings. Still congregations multiplied everywhere and grew and thrived. Finally religious freedom came. Then came the infighting in the late 1600s and near destruction of the church there. Then it rose up in America and became strong, and now it is dying there. But it is rising up and becoming strong in India and Africa.
It is impossible to destroy the church. Chop down the stalks, but the wind carries the seeds somewhere else to rise up and grow. Miraculously.
God is still on his throne, and all is well.