Read Matthew 13:1-8.
A silly farmer broadcasts his seed. At least the farmer seems silly.
After all, who would treat seed this way?
I’ve talked with farmers about their seed—corn, cotton, wheat and soybeans. A bag of high-quality, roundup-ready Monsanto seed can run you hundreds of dollars. I’ve also seen how much farmers prepare the field for planting. There is nothing random about farming. It is a very meticulous process.
But this farmer just throws it out all over the place—on the gravel road, in the ditch, amongst the weeds, in soil, good and bad—he doesn’t seem to care where it falls. He casts it everywhere and anywhere.
It’s good seed, expensive seed that he tosses into the wind.
So, then, I wonder what Jesus is trying to teach?
Perhaps the seed is the Gospel and the farmer is God the Father. Now if this is true, then I think it’s a parable that speaks volumes. If the seed is the merits of Jesus Christ, than the moral of the story is clear, because this is how God the Father looks upon the whole business of bringing salvation. He’s a gracious, generous God “who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4). He doesn’t care where the gospel goes. He won’t hold back. He gets excited just thinking about the surprises of where and how the seed will take root and thrive—even in the most unlikely of places.
Notice that we get no mention of His preparation of the soil. Apparently He doesn’t judge the soil ahead of time, whether it is worthy of His seed. He just throws it out regardless of appearances. He figures that the more He sows the more He’ll reap. So He sows and sows and sows.
This reveals two things about us:
- Though we are God’s people, we are nothing special. Even though we are Christians, we aren’t the good soil that we like to think we are. It’s clearly not because we were so worthy and righteous in God’s eyes that He would sow His seeds of faith in our hearts. There was no rich fertile ground in us. We are sinners. We are idolaters. We are selfish. We are hateful. But God has given us the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ, anyway. Like a farmer wasting seed by casting it across a gravely road, God used the preciousness of Christ to turn our rocky hearts to Him in faith.
- Shouldn’t we be then as liberal as God is in how we sow the Gospel in the world around us? Why is it that we sometimes hold back and think that a certain person is the type of person that won’t want to hear the truth? Jesus says to us: SOW. SOW. SOW.
Heavenly Father, how I praise You and thank You for Your Word, knowing that You watch over Your Word in all the ways it goes out into the world. It never returns to You void or empty but always accomplishes that for which You purpose it. Give me confidence in this, Lord, as I seek to be Your witness in the words that I speak and the conversations that I have with those who do not yet know You or to those who need encouragement in their faith.
Lord, watch over my church that the ministers of the Gospel there—Pastor, teachers, Elders and leaders—do not waver in their love for the ministry and care of the flock. Thank You for their service and help me to be humble toward their teaching and leading. Keep them steadfast, too, and upright in the way that they live and guard them from all temptations that might cause scandal. Help them be temperate and cooperative that the church might remain unified. In Jesus Name. Amen.