Message: Parables of the Sower
Today, I would like to reflect on the “Parable of the Sower,” which you’ve probably heard many times before. It appears in three of the gospels; Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
- Matthew 13:1-8
- Mark 4:1-9
- Luke 8:4-8
Here is an animated video of the parable to refresh your memory.
- A farmer sows seeds in a field.
- He threw the seeds over the ground as he walked.
- Some seeds fell on the road, and were quickly eaten by birds.
- Some seeds fell on the rocks. They sprang up quickly, but the rock prevented them from taking root.
- Some seeds fell into thorny areas which choked the seedlings before they could grow.
- Seeds that fell on good ground sprouted and rooted well in the soft soil. The crops produced a high yield.
The seed represents the gospel - the word of God, and the sower represents Jesus. What do you think about the four soils described here? I think that the farmer will continue to sow, despite the difficulties he faces. I also believe that He will always take joy in the harvest. Additionally, Jesus himself lived His life with the absolute trust and hope in God the Father.
The parable of the sower is that, in the ministry of the Kingdom of God, a skilled farmer sows seeds with the joy of harvest in his heart, even in the knowledge that He, Jesus, would have to face rejection from the people. It shows Jesus happily working in the ministry. He also tells the story of Jesus living in absolute trust and hope in God. I think that a rich harvest indicates that you can participate in Christ's salvation, be a child of God, and receive eternal life.
We tend to go about making our own plans before asking God what His plans are. We sometimes notice that we have deviated from the path of truth and growth which God has laid out for us. We go running back to God when we are in trouble, but once our problems are solved, we easily forget what God has done for us. As a result, we lose interest in the word of God, and live our own way with our own ideas.
The four grounds; the road, the stones, the thorns and the rich soil, represent four different categories of people. In this view, one might think of a person’s personality and abilities as being determined by fate. I don’t like the idea of pigeonholing people into these four categories. For me, the four types of soil do not represent the type of person you are, but the condition of your mind. Besides, isn't our state of mind constantly changing?
As a farmer, Jesus plows even infertile soil, replenishes fertilizer, and waters dry areas. He removes natural enemies, like pests and weeds, and turns the ground into fertile soil. I’m not sure if it’s biologically accurate, but I would imagine that it’s very difficult for a tree, or any plant for that matter, to germinate above ground. In other words, it may not be able to bear the weight of the soil, or the temperature and humidity which may become too much for it to breathe. And when buds emerge, they must pierce the seed coat before they can germinate on the ground. I think it would be extremely difficult for the plant at that time. How would we cope if we were put into the equivalent situation.
These painful moments are just like when we face huge challenges which seem impossible to solve by ourselves. In times like these we should abandon depending on our very limited knowledge and power, shouldn’t we? Because you are thrown into a situation that you have never experienced before, it is in these times that you need absolutely trust in God. The growth of faith in our spirit is always accompanied by challenges. God creates us with intention and plans for each one of us, not carelessly. Each plant has a life and grows despite many difficulties under good farmers’ hands so that we can see abundant fruit. That is just like how Jesus leads us to a rich eternal life.
Everyone feels that life is never easy. The troubles and challenges come one after another. However, we should remember together that we each have a special life that has been founded in God’ s love so that we can have eternal life equally. Jesus is the farmer who nurtures soils from bad to healthy, so that we can grow strong.
I pray that God's blessings will enrich you and fill you with joy.