The Parable of The Sower
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Six years ago, we moved into our house. The first thing we did to improve it was to remove a 100-year-old sycamore tree that was no longer thriving. It took four men two days to cut it down. Seeds now flourish in our garden and those of our neighbours because the vast expanse of shade has gone. Today, our living room is also full of seeds bursting out of the pinecones that our young daughter brings home from her adventures in the local parks.
In this parable, Jesus mentions the seeds, but the focus is on the soil. The quality of the seed is not in any doubt. The soils mentioned refer to the shape of people’s hearts and their readiness to hear and accept the Good News. The news that Jesus loves and rescued mankind to offer eternal life to all who believe and that He longs to be in relationship with every person.
Of the four places that the seed lands, shoots appear in three. That’s the power of the seed. In fertile soil one seed can produce a pine tree that’s 60metres tall. The message of Jesus is so mighty that it overcomes the consequences of sin and death and leads instead to forgiveness and life. How do we know then what soil represents the shape of our heart today? We’ll know this by the fruit that our lives produce.
Years after the tree in our garden was chopped down, the fruits of its life remain evident in the saplings around our neighbourhood. In fact, even in death, our sycamore tree’s legacy can be seen every year as new shoots spring up from seeds it sowed many years ago. Not all the fruits of our lives will be visible in our lifetime but the call of Jesus for every day of our lives is for us to continue planting seeds; the good news of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for how you abundantly bless my life. Please reveal to me the fruits of my life and direct me in how best to share your goodness and your love to those around me.
Action: While you walk outside today, take time to consider the colossal size of the trees you see and consider the size of the seed that initiated that growth. You too can initiate great things by sharing about your life and the part your faith has played in this.
This Thought was written by Paul Stevenson