What about the Sower?
Pictures of the Sower come readily to mind from childhood Sunday school days. Symbolic breakdowns of the Parable of the Sower in Bible college still seemed to mostly focus on the ground or the soil, representing the heart; that is, whether or not the ground/heart was ready, able and desirous to receive the message.
But I believe there is another element that deserves our attention. Take a look at Jesus' breakdown: "Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.
The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word.
The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"1
Here's my thought-let's think about the sower, and the seed he broadcast, not knowing initially which seeds would take root, and exactly when or where. Remember, the Sower represents the one who tells of the good news of the gospel, the one who shares, and gives liberally. Here's the thing:
~the one who shares the Good News or plants the seeds
that cause someone to seek out God, often does not
even know the good return.
Look what Jesus said, "those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"
Christian, ours is simply to broadcast the seeds. Last week, a newcomer to Women of Passion (Bible study) looked around the room afterward at the women and said to me, 'I just want what they have. For them, life is certain-the big questions have been answered.' 'Yes they have,' I said-'questions like Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? Is there life after death? If so, what will it mean for me?' Seeds sown by a Sower having taken root.
Indeed someone has to tell folks about life in Christ, someone has to be bold, someone has to care enough, I guess. Paul said it so beautifully in Romans, "But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?"2
The sower in first century Palestine who scattered the seeds with his hand over a small plot of ground, and the sower who broadcast his seeds from a sack off the back of a donkey to cover a greater expanse of land-both did their job. They gave the land a chance to produce, and the ground an opportunity to live and throb with life!
Tis the sower who is the key ingredient for the story-the one who shares his story or invites a friend. Of him, Isaiah said, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!"3 How beautiful is the Sower!
Here are some thoughts I have pinging around in my brain, in the form of questions: Do you understand the Good News of Jesus' great love and sacrifice for you-the seeds which the Sower broadcast? Do you share that wonderful news with other people? Why or why not? O, Friend, do you not understand what is the greatest love ever?!
1 - Matthew 13.18-23, NLT
2 - Romans 10.14
3 - Isaiah 52.7