S (Scripture): Matthew 13:3 [Jesus] told [the large crowd] many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was not deep. 6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched, and because they did not have sufficient root, they withered. 7 Other seeds fell among the thorns, and they grew up and choked them. 8 But other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 The one who has ears had better listen!”
O (Observation): Jesus’ followers are starting to get a clearer picture of who Jesus is. And now Jesus is painting a picture to let others know that not everyone will accept Jesus, nor will they accept the message of the Good News.
While this message seems a little bit defeatist, this message (parable) actually frees the followers of Jesus to know that not everyone they speak to about Jesus will receive this teaching. For whatever reason, the Good News will not take root in every heart. Some will ignore the Word, some will seemingly take root and move on, and some will receive this Word fully and faithfully and produce grain (bear fruit for the Kingdom) many times over.
The followers of Jesus move forward under an umbrella of grace. They will not convert everyone.
A (Application): In a disciple group I lead, we talk about Persons of Peace. This is from the concept in Luke 10, in which Jesus instructs his disciples to go to neighboring towns to share Jesus’ teachings, to heal those in need, and bring a message of hope. When the disciples get to the town, they are to go to individual homes and extend peace to those various homes. If they receive the peace, the disciples are to stay with them until it is time to move on. The concept extends to the understanding that God is the one placing people in our lives for whom we can engage in relationship. God prepares their hearts and minds to receive the Word that God has given to us to pass on.
The sower has one job: sow seeds. Our call is to sow seeds. We bring the Good News, as it was passed on to us. We don’t know how it will be received. We simply sow – in word and deed.
Where have you seen the Word fallen on deaf ears? Where have you seen it sprout up, only to disappoint and whither away? Where have you seen it bear fruit? How have you felt after each response?
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us hopeful. Give us strength to keep sowing seeds. Amen.