This parable immediately follows the parable of the sower and continues on the imagery of God (the sower) planting His Word in the hearts of mankind on the earth. This is the only parable that is unique to the book of Mark. While it includes the period of God‚Äôs rule and operation in the world such as working through the elect nation Israel it does include the Church Age. The Church Age is a unique time period in the overall outworking of God‚Äôs plan for this earth. It comes after the rejection of the King by Israel and lasts until the Rapture of the Church. After that event the Kingdom will be reoffered to Israel up to and during the Tribulation. Principally the offer will go forth from the 144,000 anointed (Revelation 7:4-8) Jewish evangelists spreading the Word of salvation in the Jewish Messiah around the world.