Yet another packed chapter! So many verses and stories to choose from this week. We are familiar with a number of these stories and characters from Mary Magdalene to healing Jairus’ daughter to casting the demons in Legion into the pigs. One of my favorites is Jesus calming the storm, showing we have to keep the faith as Jesus is supporting us. I read this chapter many times and decided upon the Parable of the Sower. We read about this parable in (Matthew 13.) Jesus tells us this parable and then the disciples question why he is using parables to share his message.
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 1
It is interesting to see how effective his use of storytelling is and why he is sharing in this manner. Did you know that Jesus told forty six parables? The parable of the sower is #11. It took the Disciples 11 parables to ask him? He also told five parables using seeds, including the infamous mustard seed (another one of my favorites).
If we look at the Parable of the Sower, he has a crowd gathered and is spreading the good news. He describes four scenarios, one where the seeds are trampled, one where the roots try to take hold but can’t, one where thorns appear and the final scenario showing success of the seeds growing, “yielding a hundredfold”.
I like this parable because it gives us scenarios we can relate to at work, with our friends, and at home. It is truly applicable to all areas of our lives. You can plant seeds at work with your insights and innovative ideas. Coworkers may try to weed you out and scuff at a new idea. Other times, you might gain traction with an idea but you lose funding and can’t move forward with your idea. What about the coworker who is out for themselves and will sabotage your best laid plans so that you don’t get ahead? Hopefully you can find supportive coworkers who will get on board and help you grow your idea. Maybe it is a manager or teammate who knows its best to work together for the good of the company.
We have also all experienced friends in all four of these categories throughout our lives. Those who are inconsistent, those who wear you out and drag you down, and those who just die off as you age or move away. In the end, we figure out the seeds who are truly good friends. Those who enrich our every day lives. We stick close to those who help us grow and leave those who choke our growth behind.
As a parent, you consistently try to give your kids seeds of knowledge and sow those seeds through out the years. When they are young, they take what you have said to heart, but sometimes don’t fully understand what you are trying to say or sow. As children grow into young adults, they start to question your “seeds of knowledge” and even become influenced by others, thorns, who may have evil thoughts, perform harmful acts or even tempt them. Hopefully though, as they continue to grow, the early roots have taken hold and they make good decisions based on your seeds of knowledge. They grow and “yield a hundredfold”.
God wants us to take his seeds of knowledge and let his word take root in us. He wants us to grow. He desires his disciples to “yield a hundredfold”. He wants us to nurture his words and see it grow in our hearts and minds. He asks us to turn our knowledge into action by sharing with others the good news and embracing his word by taking action in all we do. The tricky part is practicing and perfecting the fourth scenario. At work, at home, with friends, how can we be a “sower” of his word?