But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Luke 8:11, 15 (NIV)
Read: Luke 8:1-15
Consider: In the previous post the reactions people have to Jesus were discussed. Today’s post was first published on 4th January 2017 and uses the parable of the sower to illustrate how the message of the gospel produces differing results in people’s hearts.
We’ve talked before about sharing the good news of the gospel with others. Three of the gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) include the parable of the sower, which uses the analogy of a farmer going out to sow seed and how it falls on different types of soil with differing results.
What we must firstly realise is that the seed the farmer sows is all equally good, and all the seeds have the potential to germinate and grow into plants yielding a crop. Secondly, the farmer scatters the seed not knowing exactly where it will fall. Is this not the same for us? We are expected to scatter the good news without knowing if a person’s heart is ready to receive it, or whether the cares of the world might choke any potential it might have. I have often wondered what we would class as ‘good soil’. Too often we see good soil as respectable and even religious. Deep down we acknowledge the gospel of grace, but superficially we often prefer to share the good news with people who are much like ourselves. Worse still, we can pre-decide if a person is likely to respond positively. If we think they are unlikely to respond, we discriminate against them by not sharing the message with them.
While the parable mentions the seed, it is the types of soil upon which they fall that are the focus. We might think it would be great if we could only scatter seed on good ground, knowing it will produce a harvest. However, God does not give us that alternative. While God knows what is in the heart of everyone, we do not. The implication being that our job is to scatter the seed, trusting that some will fall on good ground. I have found from experience that those whom we might choose as ‘good ground’ would rarely be those whom God has his eye on. We must remember that Jesus said that it is the sick, not the healthy, that need his forgiveness. Ask yourself if your judgement is clouded when deciding who is likely to respond to the gospel message.
Pray: Father, we pray that the good seed of the gospel may fall on good ground that is prepared to receive it. Give us the courage to share your word and to rely on your Holy Spirit to work in a person’s heart to germinate and ultimately yield a harvest. Amen