In today’s reflection I want to remember the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, in this passage Jesus speaks to a crowd in parables and then talks about the fertile soil which is an analogy to our heart:
3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.Matthew 13:3-8
Explanation of the Parable of the Sower
The Lord Jesus himself explained the meaning of the Parable of the Sower to his disciples. Jesus explained that when someone hears the message of the kingdom but doesn’t understand, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart, just as birds eat the seeds that fall along the way.
The rocky soil on which some seeds have fallen represents that person who, upon hearing the message, impulsively receives it with joy, however, because of the lack of root this lasts only a short time. Soon internal conflicts arise due to the message, and this person is offended and abandons it.
There is also the person who hears the message, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches suffocate him, making it unfruitful. That is the one who was sown among thorns. However, the example of the seed that was sown in good soil represents the one who hears the message and heeds it, bearing fruit.
Here already there is a clear indication of the meaning of three elements of this parable. First, the seed in the Parable of the Sower is a representation of the Word of God. Second, the sower is a figure of Christ himself, and consequently, of everyone who is engaged in the service of proclaiming the Gospel. Third, the soil mentioned in the Parable of the Sower, each with its own particularity, is an indication of the human heart.
What can we draw as a lesson?
The Parable of the Sower brings very important lessons, and I want to highlight three of them. First, it teaches that the seed of the Gospel reaches different soils and presents different results in each of them.
Some people have an insensitive heart that does not respond positively to the invitation of the Gospel. These people do not even reflect on the message being preached. Others have an impulsive heart that receives the message superficially. Once the emotion wears off, these people return to their old life of sin.
Others have a heart that is too busy with the things of this life, ensnared by earthly desires and illusions of riches, they despise the true treasure that they could find. But there are also those people who have a well-prepared heart, a heart that responds positively to the Word of God.
Secondly, it is undeniable that this parable highlights human responsibility for the outcome of the germination of the seed according to the condition of the soil. In the Bible God’s sovereignty is never seen as a problem to human responsibility. While human responsibility is emphasized in the way each person responds to the Gospel message, God’s sovereignty is emphasized, in fact, that the good soil that properly receives the seed.
Third, the Parable of the Sower shows that fruitfulness is a mark of the true Christian. Every genuine disciple of Jesus Christ will bear fruit to the glory of God. However, the degree of fruitfulness is not the same for everyone. Some produce one hundred percent; others sixty; and others thirty.
What kind of soil is your heart in?
And how is your heart? Is it burning for the Word of God or are you full of doubts? To bear fruit we need to prepare our soil, seeking the truth in God’s word which is the Bible and asking for the Holy Spirit’s help to discern what is written there.
I know that many times we are not able to have a routine of Bible reading with all the daily tasks, but when we create this habit even our daily routine starts to flow better. We are better prepared for the challenges of everyday life.
God bless you!
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