“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”-Matthew 13:23
The Parable of the Sower is perhaps the best known and most noted parable in the Bible. Bible scholars point out three important elements in this parable;
- the sower– the person who is living the life of Christ, out for mission, preaching, and teaching.
- the seed– the Word of God, the insights that produces faith. Deep inside the seed is life and when it falls into the soil, it will live.
- and the soil– the person who receives the Word.
Assimilation of the gospel truth may vary between people’s (listeners) understanding as they may view them at different angles. However, each Christian’s job is to “sow the seeds”. Whether people will accept the seeds, allow them to grow and bear fruit in their lives is no longer his or her responsibility. He or she only needs to trust God and obey the call to sow “spiritual seeds”.
- The Parable of the Sower
Different Types of Soil
Pathway or Wayside– This kind of soil could be as hard as a pavement as people walk on it regularly. The seeds could not penetrate this type of soil so they remain on the surface, which makes it easier for birds to feed on the seeds. One may be like “wayside soil” at some point in his or her life. Prejudices, pride and even tradition may cause an unteachable spirit within the person. He may be too attached to his comfort zone that he could not entertain any call to change. Perhaps, bad experiences and unanswered prayers have hardened his or her heart.
Rocky Ground- This describes people who are excited about their religion. Spiritual experiences warm their hearts but they do not last. They receive the teaching with gladness but forgo the application. It seems all superficial. Perhaps, certain influences cause them to lose the fire easily.
Thorny Ground- This describes people who become too pre-occupied with worldly affairs; forsaking spiritual responsibility in exchange for earthly pleasures.
Good Soil- This describes people who receive “the spiritual seed”, allow it to grow, mature and become fruitful and multiply.
At certain points in our lives, even as Christians, we experience all these four conditions of “spiritual soil” in our lives. At one point, we might have been hardened by despair, confused with our priorities and tired from responsibilities.
However, we need to strive to become “good soil”. The kingdom of God is like a seed that grows from small to great. We just need to be faithful with our calling to spread the good news no matter where the seeds fall. We can be sure that God will take care of the result.
Digested from a sermon by: Rev. Orlino Veron, Administrative Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, July 10, 2011
Image above courtesy of: http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue/2010/08/mindful.html