The Farmer Sows the Seed!
Scripture reading for October 9th: Matthew 12-15
Jesus used parables to speak to multitudes of people. The knowledge of the kingdom of heaven is hidden from those with hard hearts and closed ears. Their attitudes blind them to truth that God wants to reveal to them. (Proverbs 14:6) (Matthew 13:11-15) Parables are stories that speak of something common that all would know about and be able to understand naturally, but with additional meaning that applies to the kingdom of heaven and our own relationship to it. Jesus ended many of these stories with something like: ‘if you have ears, listen!”. (Matthew 13:8) Almost everyone has ears, but the listening that Jesus encouraged was spiritual and revealed truth.
As a former Iowa farmer, the parable of the sower always fascinated me. I raised corn one year for a Master Corn Grower’s contest. I took the pounds of seed planted and then after harvest the pounds of seed harvested off of this contest plot of nearly 200 bushels per acre. The return was over 1100 to 1! This parable talks about a thirty, sixty, or hundred fold return! Now that was good seed and good ground and God’s amazing grace! By the way, I got third place in the contest!
In this parable, the farmer scattered his seed and it fell on different types of soil. Some fell on the path and birds ate it up immediately. Some fell on rocky soil, and sprouted quickly but died out. Some fell among the weeds and was choked out. Most of the seed went to the good ground and it yielded a crop of various multiplication. This simple story that would have been very familiar to everyone in that culture held some spiritual understanding for those with ears to hear!
Jesus went on to explain the meaning to his followers. (Matthew 13:19-23) Those who heard the word but did not understand it were like the seed on the path. The evil one comes along and eats it before it can produce or even sprout. The rocky soil represents those who initially hear the word but have no depth of heart desire so the word dies out before a crop can come. The seed among the weeds represents those who receive the word, but the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choke it out before it can produce. Finally, those who hear the word and understand it and put it into practice are like the good soil, producing a crop that multiplies! The parable is simple and easy to understand, if you are teachable!
God is the farmer and He has commissioned us to sow His word in the soils of hearts. We can’t control what kind of soil the seed falls on but we have good seed! The Gospel seed will grow when conditions are right. Do an inventory of the condition of your heart today. Is the crop of eternal life growing in you? If so, are you deepening your heart’s soil so the roots go down? Are you keeping the weeds out? Is the crop bringing an increase? Could it be greater? God has blessed the seed and wants to multiply it through you!