We have been talking about listening. Jesus pointed out that listening makes fertile soil for plants to grow (for people’s lives to be changed in a positive way). If we bear fruit (if we apply what Jesus says), it is proof that we have listened. If others bear fruit, it shows that the seed we have planted has taken root in their heart.
Mark 4:3-8 (TNIV) [Jesus is speaking]
3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
In ancient days, farmers would sow seed by hand throwing it about and some would not fall in healthy places for it to grow. The farmer was less concerned with the statistics surrounding how much of the seed would grow to maturity and bear fruit as he was simply hoping and praying for a good crop.
When we live the Gospel, meaning: when we learn to forgive and love others, when we have a relationship with Jesus and apply kindness, understanding, empathy, love and compassion to our everyday being. When we tell others about what we have found in Jesus…….WE ARE SOWING SEED. We must always sow seed and pray for good soil as we go!
Jesus is telling this parable to encourage us in life so that we understand that as “sowers” of the Gospel message and life…..we will not be discouraged that not all people will accept the message the same way….but in order for the seed (message) to grow, flourish, multiply and bear fruit……..we must sow it. It is simply important for us to understand that we must faithfully sow the seed. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t always see results.
SOME SEED WILL FALL ALONG THE PATH: The path is where the ground has become hard from so many people trampling on it and the seed can’t grow. Some people we share our lives and the Gospel with simply will harden their hearts to the truth in life of who Jesus is.
SOME SEED WILL FALL IN ROCKY PLACES: Rocky places are places where there are pockets of moisture, the seed sprouts quickly but the sun quickly dries up the moisture and the seed withers. Some people we share our lives and the Gospel with will listen to the message and enthusiastically “grow”….but the soil is too shallow and they will soon wither in their faith.
SOME SEED WILL FALL AMONG THORNS: When seed falls among thorns, the thorns take away the nourishment need for the seed to grow and crowd out the seed, choking the life out of it. Some people we share our lives and the Gospel with will be so surrounded by those who refute Jesus and the true way of living that they will crowd out the message, twist and distort the truth and suck the life out of those around them. Thorns are those that don’t practice forgiveness, those who encourage others to lie, cheat and steal, the fair weather party friends that say “you only live once” and encourage others to do the wrong things.
Productivity is in God’s hands…..live a real life in Jesus, forgiving others, mourning the sin in your life, loving people, serving people, loving God, serving God, applying the wisdom of God, indeed, the wisdom of Jesus in your life. Do this and you are planting seeds in people’s lives that God can take and grow to maturity so that they too will bear the fruit of love in their life. We simply just need to trust God and live the Gospel message.