Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sowing Seed, Luke 8:4-8

I just finished Luke chapter 8. In vss. 4-8 Jesus tells the illustration (“parable”) of the man who sows seed. Jesus says that some seed fell on the roadside, on the rocky soil, amongst thorny grows, and finally on “good soil.”

That made me wonder: Why was the sower so careless with where he threw his seed? ‘Why didn’t he just scatter it where the soil was “good” and rich with nutrients. His yield would probably have been better.’ If you’ve ever seen how the ancients sowed seed, you might better understand Jesus’ illustration. Naturally, as the sower approached the edge of his property, as he scattered the seed, some was bound to go beyond the boundaries of his plantation.

But Jesus wasn’t giving an agricultural lesson. His listeners readily understood the common challenges of sowing a field. He was talking about the preaching of the Good News. His illustration demonstrates God’s indiscriminate love for mankind. The preaching (casting the seed out) is done without regard to people’s race, status or intellect. God gives his hope for mankind freely to all. Their outward characteristics are not what makes any individual roadkill, rocky or thorny. It is who they are inside. Since we, as God’s fellow workers cannot read hearts, we also indiscriminately spread the good news and let each one’s response dictate what type of soil they are. And that is why, by necessity, some of our seed-like activity will need to fall even in places where it may turn out unproductive. We may attempt to plant, but it is only God who can make a heart grow with appreciative response.

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