Summary: A look at the parable of the seed
Are you wasting seed? Luke 8:1-18
Gladstone Baptist Church – 30/10/05 am
I love big machinery. I’m an engineer still at heart and I love to figure out how machines work. One of the fascinating areas of machinery I think is agricultural machines. Have you ever seen a combine harvestor working through a field of sugar cane? I mean – it drives along – you’ve got these great big screws on the front to pull in the cane, then the tops are lopped off and the cane sliced off at the bottom, The leaves are stripped off and then the juicy stalks are cut into pieces about 20cm in length. Then the cut cane is taken up a conveyor belt and thrown out into a truck that is driving next door. All that in one machine.
Another type of machine I am fascinated with is planting machines. You drive it along and it digs a trench, pops a seed in and sometimes some fertilizer in also, then covers it up. Some are even clever enough to plant a little seedling instead of a seed, or a whole potato instead of a seed. Talk about clever – How do people come up with such nifty inventions as these. It is all scientific now – a certain number of seeds go in a certain distance apart and they make sure the soil has all the nutrients that it needs to produce a great crop.
But that wasn’t always the way things were. These modern practices are a far cry from the days when a guy used to walk along, throwing seed around.
Tonight, I want to have a look at the parable of the Sower. I’m sure for most of you, you know this story, but have you really looked closely at the meaning behind it and the implications for us? That is what I want to do. I want to ask you tonight the question – are you wasting seed? You see, the seed in this parable represents the truth of God that is taught to people and the parable is all about what people choose to do with that truth. The parable was told to challenge people that they need to be fruitful with what they do with the truth they receive. The question is “Are you wasting God’s Truth?”
Let’s pray before we read through this familiar story.
Luke 8:1 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 Cuza, 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:[This passage actually forms a bit of a watershed in Jesus’ ministry. Up until this point he seemed to be doing more miracles than teaching, but from here on, Jesus’ attention seems to transfer to teaching. You see – Jesus had become a popular teacher and people were coming from everywhere to hear him. His focus now turned to weeding out the casual onlookers from those who were serious about finding out more about his teachings and so he begins to teach in parables. He told them 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 of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, 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, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [4 soils, 1 seed. 4 different results. Sowing seed was definitely nothing unusual to the people who had gathered around. In fact the results that Jesus explained were not unexpected either – I mean – they had enough experience to know that seed wasn’t going to last long on a path or on rocks and it was not going to thrive among weeds. I’m sure the people gathered wondered why Jesus was telling them something so obvious. What was the purpose of this little story? Surely there must be more to it? And so … ]
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ”