After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
The parable of the sower is an indiscriminate act of lavish extravagance. It is an act of Grace.
A farmer – no specific one, no name, it could be anyone, you or I even – this farmer flings seed liberally. It lands on all types of soil. There is no prior selection of the ground, no intentional planting: Seed by seed, dropped in neat furrowed-rows. Rather it is scattered everywhere, on all soil types, abundantly, and extravagantly. It strikes rocks, skips along paths, sticks to thorns, and some, stops on good soil. This seems wasteful, but is Divinely generous.
This parable shows us that God’s Word is to be shared everywhere, and with anyone, no discrimination, or selection on our part. Rather, we spread the Good News wildly, and widely. Then, we leave it to The Spirit to produce believers from whatever soil His seed lands on. Yes, He may inspire us to till, water, fertilize, harvest, and more, each participating in the growth of others’ faith. But we cannot convince anyone to believe. The Spirit produces believers. We scatter the seed generously, and so participate with the Spirit, who causes it to flourish even in soils we think are unfavourable.
We read of examples of these unfavourable soils in Luke 8:1-3. There is Mary a prostitute, Joanna of Herod’s household, and Susanna a woman Jesus healed. Yet, the seed took root in these unfavorable soils. It does the same today in anyone, you and I even, who have ears to hear the Good News scattered so graciously.
Related poem “Fallowed Fields” https://inspirationspassage.ca/leaning-planks-poetry/
More Devotions & faith formation:
Winston Visser: https://winstonjohnvisser.wordpress.com
Lesslie Newbigin “The Good Shepherd” – https://newbiginresources.org/1977-the-good-shepherd-meditations-on-christian-ministry-in-todays-world/
Pray as You Go, 10-12 minutes daily following the Liturgical Calendar: https://pray-as-you-go.org/
THEOLOGIANS who Inspire my devotions:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: https://tdbi.org/dietrich-bonhoeffer/biography/
Henri Nouwen: https://henrinouwen.org/
Walter Brueggemann: https://www.walterbrueggemann.com/