Summary: We use this text to describe the process of sowing and reaping, investing and return on investment, deposits and withdrawals. And in addition to that it contains some great insight to how to get the most out of life; not just here but in the hereafter as
Picture in your mind if you would this image…Jesus, crowded by many seeking his wisdom, stepping into a boat and sitting down to teach while the many stood on the bank in anticipation. Why didn’t he just have the disciples push the crowd back, why the boat? Was Jesus claustrophobic? Did he need some breathing room? Perhaps he just wanted to get a better look at the multitude.
Get a closer look at the faces of this gathering, standing next to you, look into their eyes and see what they see, feel the emotion of the moment…sense the excitement. You are part of this group, good people seeking some type of “divine” connection and revelation. Jesus was the answer man, the miracle worker and he was about to give a lecture…and whatever the topic, you know it will be powerful and you will be changed because He always spoke as one having authority.
So now He has your attention, the crowds attention…every eye is fixed on that boat…the water is eerily calm…the wind has been hushed. The only sound is that of the boat gently rocking as he begins…
Now open your eyes, staying in that moment and listen to his words…
131That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear."
He spoke a parable(modern day stories) Our word "parable" comes from the Greek parabole, which means "a placing beside"--and thus a comparison or an illustration. Its most common use in the NT is for the illustrative stories that Jesus drew from nature and human life. The Synoptic Gospels contain about 30 of these stories.
parables. Usually stories out of ordinary life used to illustrate spiritual or moral truth, sometimes in the form of brief similes, comparisons (see note on 3:23), analogies or proverbial sayings. Ordinarily they had a single main point, and not every detail was meant to have significance.
Where he begins this series of parables is interesting for he kicks it off with one that speaks to what we hear and how we respond to what we hear. We use this text to describe the process of sowing and reaping, investing and return on investment, deposits and withdrawals. And in addition to that it contains some great insight to how to get the most out of life; not just here but in the hereafter as well. After all Jesus was talking about the news of the kingdom of heaven.
I want to step back and view these words today in the context of soul-winning, evangelism, talking to others about our faith… using our giftings to bring people into a relationship with Christ. I think the churches mission should always be to bring people into relationship with Him..a better way of life. The seed would represent the Word/message, our God-given giftings and talents, the dispersing sharing of our relationship with Christ.
Lets look at some of that insight… “a farmer went out to sow his seed”. Now I grew up in a city so I didn’t know many farmers. When I came to the Midwest, I saw them, I met them and I heard them speak. Farmers know something about “making a living”. They know what it means to work…I always thought “manual labor” was one of the Mexicans on my landscape crew. Farmers have an work ethic; an attitude.(like the one that told his son who was complaining about work that he only had to work half days and he didn’t care which 12 hours he chose!) Farmers know that if they don’t put it in the ground then it will never spring up out of the ground. You don’t plow a field in your mind, you need to get after it. . 6The hardworking farmer (toils)should be (he expects to be) the first to receive a share of the crops. 2 tim 2:6
Our problem many times comes in our willingness to act upon the things that we say..to move in the direction of what we desire. Unfortunately we often don’t get what we desired but rather what we expected. We desire some things that we feel God placed in us but we never truly “expect” them to happen. Oh it would be great if they did but God has got to be very busy. We have a hard time believing that God could possibly care about our life, our plans, our family…but He does. Many folks think He’s too busy taking care of Mr and Mrs Copeland, the Bennie Hinns and the Charles Stanleys to get into our stuff. Perhaps He is only waiting for the attitude of the farmer to get ahold of us…get out and sow…to start scattering seed (off your seat and into the street)