Daily Reflection – 7/26/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.” (Matthew 13:18-23)
This parable is almost self-explanatory. The seed is the “message of the kingdom.” And like all seed, it cannot do its transformational work in the wrong environment. If the gospel seed falls on the bad soil (or is snatched up before it can find purchase), it just won’t sprout.
Jesus makes it clear that the receptiveness of a human heart is represented by the parable’s various soils. The effectiveness of the gospel’s seed depends entirely on the soil where it lands, and the parable of the sower is ultimately about how various people respond to the gospel.
The identity of the farmer in Jesus’ parable is the question we haven’t tackled yet. In context, Jesus is the farmer. He spent three years of His life sharing the message of the kingdom with varied results.
When we see God as the sower, it’s incredibly meaningful. It’s wasteful for a farmer to throw seed away on soil that’s not going to produce, but the farmer is so hopeful that He’s willing to do it anyway. Jesus doesn’t differentiate between worthy and unworthy soil; He throws as much grace and gospel seed as He can at us because He’s just so consumed with a desire to see us be reconciled to Him.
It’s our job to be in the world sowing the seed of the gospel. If we want to create disciples, we have to be mindful of the various kinds of soil. If we desire to grow a bountiful crop, we need to spread as much seed as we possibly can, knowing that a lot of it isn’t going to take root. The farmer’s focus is on producing a lucrative crop. He’s not overly concerned with whether or not the some of the soil is going to reject the seed—that’s a given.
Like Jesus, we’re to sow the gospel as liberally as possible. If we try and guess which soil is most likely to support the message of the kingdom, we’re going to get it wrong. We need to scatter the gospel as widely as we can. It’s the only way to produce the kind of yield the Lord would like to see.
Until we open ourselves to the planting of God’s life in our hearts, until we are receptive to God surprising us, until we are willing to be inconvenienced by the sowing of God’s seed in our world, until we take seriously the challenge of Christ’s gospel and feel the discomfort of his good news the crisis of the human heart will remain, we cannot say that we are living as a follower of Christ.
We are God’s field, and He is looking for us to produce fruit. And we are also God’s farmers, and He’s looking to expand the size of His crop. We need to be busy doing that.
Prayer of The Day
Dear God, strengthen our hearts to become the rich soil that hears Your Word, understands it, puts it into practice and action and finally bears for You abundant yield according to Your Holy Will.
If you know God then you will know that He is the one who created you. If you know that He created you, then you will know why He did that. You will know that He created you so that you can serve Him, and the service He demands from you is that you serve others with the talents He has given you. When you use your talents to serve others, God will be praised and glorified in your actions