A Sower and His Field

In Lent 24 by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

“A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some seed fell on the path where it was trampled …Some fell on the rock…and it withered for lack of moisture…Some fell among thorns…and the thorns choked it…And some fell into good soil…where it produced a hundredfold.”

Luke 8:4-15

Jesus’ ministry on earth was about three years long as far as we know, and during that short period he was itinerate, going from place to place, wherever he found people. Luke says in chapter 8 of his gospel that large crowds came to hear his message.

Most of the time Jesus spoke in pithy little stories that we call parables. He spoke in this form because it had a way of drawing in those who were hungry and wanted to explore the truth Jesus was telling. The rest, unable to see how or what they might personally learn, ignored the parable and dismissed Jesus.

Jesus explained the mystery of parables by telling the story of a farmer who went into his field with his bag of grain where he began to hand-scatter it. Indiscriminate and random, the seed landed wherever it would, some to good soil where it grew and produced a crop, others to soil with challenges like rocky layers, thorns, and birds.

The seed in the parable is the good news about the Kingdom of God. The future of the seed depended on the hearts of the people it fell on. Some distracted and choked like the thorny ground, some hardened and impervious like the rocky ground, and others keeping company with those who want to prohibit the grow of seeds, like the birds.

I expect that people with open hearts are able to think and wonder what kind of listeners they are, or as Jesus said – soil. They know that at times in their lives when they are less ideal media for growth of a seed, and they make mindful adjustments and responses. Bad soil resists the seed.

Jesus’ parable of the sower could be a description of humanity in general. Jesus talks about seed on hardpacked ground vulnerable to consumption by birds, on rocky ground where the seed has limited resources for nourishment, on ground teeming with weeds and choking vines, and good ground where the seed has lots of opportunity for growth.

But today the four soils could be prejudice. shallowness, distraction, and curiosity. The challenges of this day could be internet distraction, hatred, false friends, and indifference. The results are the same as in Jesus’ parable, ending in the death of the seeds of truth.

Something to think about: Do you ever notice these challenges to the growth of truth in your life? What do you think causes this for you? Where do you see similar things in the world around you?

Something to pray about: Father, this is a challenging and difficult world we live in, and there are so many things that threaten our ability to receive truth. Please work in our lives so that we might be receptive and fertile places for the seed of truth to grow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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