He said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”
“Consider then the parable of the farmer. Whenever people hear the word about the kingdom and don’t understand it, the evil one comes and carries off what was planted in their hearts. This is the seed that was sown on the path. As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away. As for the seed that was spread among thorny plants, this refers to those who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the false appeal of wealth choke the word, and it bears no fruit. As for what was planted on good soil, this refers to those who hear and understand, and bear fruit and produce—in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one” (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 – Common English Bible).
This week we are focusing on “The Parable of the Seeds.” Yesterday we began this subgroup of our Matthew devotionals by talking about farmers spreading seeds. We specifically talked about how when using a broadcasting method (the most likely method of spreading seeds during the Biblical era) most of the seed will end up in the places you want, but some will end up in the wrong places. The end result is usually a waste but sometimes God is at work in the end result.
Jesus says, in this parable, when the farmer was scattering the seed, some fell on the pathway. If I was to broadcast fertilizer around my yard, some of it will inevitably fall on the sidewalk, the driveway, the patio and the porch. It probably wouldn’t be large quantities but I know I would miss. In the end, the product landing on the concrete would be wasted.
Jesus says the birds came and ate it. I doubt the birds would eat my fertilizer but they would eat the seeds. I recently bought a bird feeder to put out on my patio. In the process of trying to fill it, I spilled some of the birdseed. Some is still there but the birds have carried much of it away.
Jesus likens that to spreading seed that when spread winds up with a person who doesn’t understand it. Evil then takes over because there is little to prevent its growth.
I have learned something in recent years, however, even that seed that is planted in a person who doesn’t understand still has great possibilities. Through prevenient grace, God is calling and wooing us into a relationship. If God is omnipotent, God can change hearts and change lives. Yes, God does give us all free will and we can decide to accept the offered grace or reject the same. Still, God doesn’t give up. God continues to call. Relationships can still happen. And, when they do, that seed is no longer wasted.
How do you tend the seed that lands along the path?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved