Jesus said, “I am the life” (John 14:6). He is the life both in this age and in New Jerusalem. The life portrayed by the tree of life and by the river of water of life is Christ. Now in resurrection Christ is our life (Colossians 3:4) and we should grow in this life.
A prior post spoke about our growing “with the growth of God.” We might ask, is growth the Lord’s growing in us or is it our growth? The answer is both. As believers we are one with the Lord. His growth in us is our growth in Him. This mingled growth is seen in the parable of the sower. Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 present this parable and our Lord’s unveiling of the mystery hidden in it. Luke 8:11 tells us, “The seed is the word of God” and Mark 4:14 says, “The sower sows the word.”
In 1 Peter 1:23 we see regeneration by “the living and abiding word of God.” In Matthew 13:1–23 we see growth. Verse 8 tells us that some seeds “fell on the good earth and yielded fruit, one a hundredfold, and one sixtyfold, and one thirtyfold.” Verse 23, speaking about the sowing on the good earth, says, “this is he who hears the word and understands, who by all means bears fruit and produces, one a hundredfold, and one sixtyfold, and one thirtyfold.” In verse 8 the development of life that yields fruit is ascribed to the seed and in verse 23 it is ascribed to the person who receives the seed. This shows that the seed, the word of God, and its receiver have been united. This mingled life with its mingled growth will bring us to New Jerusalem.