Parables. Throughout the Bible, we're constantly given glimpses into these powerful allegories that Jesus employs to speak to His people. Put simply, these storytelling devices are "earthly stories with a heavenly meaning," according to the Enduring Word Bible commentary. While these stories are not exactly clear, Jesus told them in order to provoke our imaginations and get us thinking.
The Parable of the Sower is a well-known narrative told in the Gospels—the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It's a story depicting how seeds grow in different soils, or rather, how faith grows in the hearts of believers and their environments. According to Luke 8:11, the seed is the Word of God. It's a story that shows just how easy it is for the faithful believer to stray from God's truth.
This parable would have been more understood in Jesus' day, since it was a largely agrarian society.
For today's blog post, I'm diving into this passage of Scripture to give you some inspiration on remaining close to God, despite the pressures of our world. It's possible to thrive amidst today's hectic worldly conditions, and to continue to grow in your faith. Here's what we know...
The Four Soils: Different Responses to God's Word
"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." ~ Matthew 13:3-4
The Wayside Seed
First and foremost, we're given a glimpse into the seed that was immediately consumed by birds. There was no chance for it to grow. This represents those who hear God's truth, but dismiss it immediately. They do not let God's Word take root in their hearts.
"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." ~ Matthew 13:5-6
The Seed on the Rocky Ground
Secondly, we're told of the seed that falls on rocky, shallow soil. Initially, there's a sign of growth. The seed springs up fast, but over time, it withers, since it has no firm roots—nothing anchoring it to the source. Envision those who hear the Gospel, have an immediate emotional reaction, but soon after fall away from the faith, pressured by the pull of the world.
"Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants." ~ Matthew 13:7
Among the Thorns
What do we know about thorns? They consume all the nutrients of the plants around them. The soil the seed falls on is indeed fertile, almost too fertile, since thorns also grow there as well. Because of this, the seed doesn't stand a chance and is instantly overcome by the power of the thorns. The thorns could mean many things for us—money, jobs, relationships, etc. Anything that pulls us away from Jesus and living in alignment with His kingdom.
"Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear." ~ Matthew 13:8-9
The Good Seed
The soil here is fertile, but not only that, it's without weeds. There are no competitors vying for the seed's nutrients. There are no birds, no rocks, no thorns. It is free to grow and thrive. This is just like a believer who hears God's Word and remains steadfast. They do not get pulled away by the temptations and pressures of the world. Instead, they hold fast to their commitments, remain close to God, and continue to grow in their faith. The good seed is fruitful.
Just as Jesus says later on in Matthew 13:23, "As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
The Key Takeaways
"Whoever has ears, let them hear." ~ Matthew 13:9
This final verse on the parable pretty much sums it up. It's a cautionary tale of sorts, relaying what can easily happen to us believers if we don't pay attention, but it's also a hopeful invitation to grow closer to Jesus.
- It's important to note that we must always be on our guard. There are both earthly and spiritual forces seeking to separate us from God—some distractions may not even seem so devious.
- Seemingly good things, like our jobs or our commitments, can easily distract us from living in accordance with God's will.
- In order for us to grow in our faith and dodge the ever-present distractions of our world, we must consciously seek an environment that is healthy and life-giving. Consider who you surround yourself with, what media you consume, etc.
Grow in Grace
You have the ability to grow and thrive, LiF sister! We created our Christian t-shirts and accessories to remind you the abundance that is available to you in Jesus. Despite the pressures of our world, we serve a loving God who wants to be in relationship with you. Why not wear a reminder of this beautiful truth?