“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seed fell on fertile soil, and they spouted, grew and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
According to this parable, when we share the Good News of Jesus Christ, when we share His words with others, it is like we are scattering seeds of truth. Those seeds fall on one of four places; a footpath, shallow soil, among thorns and lastly on fertile soil. These analogies represent our recipients hearts.
The seed that falls on the footpath ‘represents those who hear the message, only to have satan come at once and take it away’ (v15). The seed that falls on the shallow soil ‘represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots… they fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word’ (v16-17). Furthermore the seeds that fall among thorns ‘represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced’ (18-19). Finally, the seed that falls on fertile soil ‘represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest’ (20).
Although God is in control of making the seeds grow that we plant, we must also know that our sharing of God’s word, must always be coupled with prayer, so that every seed we sow, may fall on fertile and ready hearts. The increase is God’s work, the sharing and praying is ours!
We too can also go through seasons in our lives, where we can journey through each of these stages in our own hearts. When we receive the word of God, sometimes we allow the pressures of life to suffocate what we have received. If that is you, then know God’s grace is new every morning. Give your ‘thorns and weeds’ to God. Let Him dig out the roots that are hindering your growth and enrich your hearts with His grace and His Spirit. Maybe it is time to call the Gardener in…