“What Kind of Dirt Are You?”
Posted: Friday, January 19
Verse of the day:
Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (Matthew 13: 1-9)
In today’s text we read the “Parable of the Sower”. Whenever Jesus shared a parable there was always much more to the story than first met the mind’s eye—that’s why verse 9 says, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand”.
In Jesus’ day sowing seeds was generally the way that wheat was planted. The sower would spread the seeds sweeping his arm left to right. As the seeds were thrown, they covered a large area. Not every seed ended up exactly where the farmer was aiming. Everyone in the crowd surrounding Jesus knew that seeds scattered in this manner would end up in differing places.
The sower is not the main character in this parable; it is actually more about the seed and soil; he is only the catalyst to get the seeds and the different soils together. Some of the seeds fell on the path, where some alert birds saw them and ate them. Some fell in rocky soil, sprang up quickly and wilted under the heat of the sun. Some seeds were choked out by the thorns and weeds as they grew. However, some fell on good soil and did exactly what it was supposed to do, produce abundantly.
This parable has to do with how the Kingdom of God is received by different groups and individuals. We, as hearers of the word, are the soil. It is a little humbling for us to be the dirt, but that’s who/what we are in this parable. As soil/dirt, the question that the parable asks us is, “How have you responded to the good news message of the kingdom of God?” Have we allowed it to be snatched away from us and eaten by the worries of this life? Did we not allow the roots to sink deep enough, and now the plant of hope has withered and dried up by the adversities we face? Have we allowed the judgments and cares of this world to choke out the joy that God wants to grow deep within our hearts? Or are we producing as good soil should—spreading the good news and enabling growth for ourselves and others?
There are sowers who plant and cultivate seeds of hope and renewal into our lives—but it up to us to prepare the soil. It is up to us to allow the Holy Spirit, like a spring of living water, to nourish that seed of faith budding within us.
All we need to do is add a little “Miracle Grow” into the process!