Bear or Bare?: The Parable of the Sower
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus often spoke in parables, and if you are like me, some of them leave us wondering how this applies in the here and now. Have you ever wondered about what is being taught in the parable of the sower?
Let’s unpack this parable together. First of all, the seed that is trampled on and eaten up represents the soil of people who hear the Word of God but are unwilling to learn or understand and that do not pay attention to it. The seed that falls on rocky places, then, represents the soil of people who read God’s Word and accept it, but when trials and tribulations creep in, they fall away. In addition, the seed that falls among the thorns represents the soil of people who receive the Word and make an effort to live for Christ but care more about the world and its riches. The last seed that falls, however, this time on the good soil, represents people who hear the Word and fully receive it by applying it to their lives. These people, as a result, bear much fruit.
Which type of soil do you currently identify with? If it is not the seed that falls on the good soil, what steps are you taking to steer in that direction? The more fruit we bear, the more His name is glorified, and God promises the fruit we do bear will multiply even up to a hundred times what seed is sown.
To those who feel strongly about their lives bearing much fruit, whom do you know and care about that represent the hard, the rocky, or the shallow kind of soil? Are you praying for your lost friends who have hardened hearts, praying that the Spirit would stir in them and bring about conviction? How are you encouraging friends who have fallen away from the faith, those whose crop is bare? If the Lord is in the business of seeking and saving lost souls, shouldn’t we make that our business too? Only the Spirit can grow the seed that we help to plant, but we can still pray, and we can encourage. We also can be Jesus with skin on and model for others the bearing of much fruit.
Today’s Prayer: Father, make clear to me today the heart behind the parable of the sower. Help me to hear Your Word, receive it, and apply it to my life today. Please bring to mind those in my life who need to know You and show me how to pray for them. I want to bear much fruit for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.