Matthew 13:8-9 – Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear. (NIV)
As we study Jesus' words in the Parable of the Sower, and reflect on their meaning, we usually focus on our particular fertility. We recognize when we are like the path or rocky ground, or when we are choked out by the thorns. Occasionally we are fertile soil, and we produce an abundant harvest.
But why did this particular parable have to be explained to the disciples? Weren't they fertile ground being prepared to carry on Jesus' ministry to the nations? The message to the disciples, and to us, is to focus on the sower.
Does the parable say, "Oh, you foolish sower, why did you waste good seed by casting it along the path, on the rocks, and among the thorns? Why didn't you save that seed for the good soil?" No, nowhere does it admonish the sower for sowing good seed on poor soil.
The same is true for our Christian witness. We are not to prejudge where or in whom we plant God's seeds. We are to spread God's message of love to all his people. We are not to withhold it from the unlovable. Some of our seeds will land along the path, on the rocks, and among the thorns, and not yield a harvest. But some will find their way to the good soil, and an abundant harvest will be in the making. We should not be discouraged. We are just to spread God's message of love to all people and let him take care of the harvest.
Prayer: Father God, we are your people because of those before us, who sowed your seeds of love in us. Make us bold as we share the harvest with those who have not yet received and accepted you as part of their lives. Help us not to be discouraged when our efforts are rejected or are unfruitful, but to rejoice when the seed falls on fertile soil. Amen.