The Parable of the Sower is one of my childhood favourites.
Because I clearly remember sitting crossed-legged on the wooden parquet floor of our school hall, with the other children surrounding our Sunday school teacher who sat on a chair in the middle of us, while we listened in wide-eyed amazement.
I had no idea what it all meant; at the time, I just thought Jesus was wise and wonderful, and that was enough for me. Over the years, I came to understand the meaning of the parable.
During my life, I have learnt that living in faith is a lifelong journey and that spiritual truths do not all become evident in one single moment.
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on a path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 If you have ears,[a] hear!”
Jesus taught in parables, which are earthly stories with a heavenly meaning.
The seeds planted in the parable of the sower represent different people and their reactions to Jesus’ teaching. I see this as a great insight into the depth of His knowledge of the human heart.
He said: The seeds the farmer scatters on the path didn’t have a chance to grow there, so the birds ate them.
These people hear the good news of the kingdom but don’t take it in because it just remains on the surface of their logic, and they are not interested anyway.
The seeds that were sown in the rocky ground—germinate quickly, but there is no soil for the roots to sink into, and the sun burns the new shoots.
These people respond quickly to Jesus, but they have no depth of character soil, the novelty soon wears off, and difficulties arrive; they give up quickly.
The seeds sown in the thorns are the people who hear the message but spend a lot of time worrying about worldly things. The thorns strangle the roots, and they die. Likewise, sophisticated, worldly ways strangle faith.
The seeds sown in good soil are the people who hear the message Jesus delivers and understand it is what they have been searching for.
So they build their life around it and produce harvests beyond their wildest dreams.
I hope and pray that you are a seed sown in the excellent soil because I can testify to you that by living with the principles set out by Christ, even though it is not always easy, we can all produce a harvest beyond our wildest dreams.
However, finding good soil and building your life around it does not happen overnight. It is a lifelong journey of ups and downs, but the harvest promised is well worth the effort.
Why not live your life in the excellent soil and eventually reap the harvest promised you?
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.