‘A man went out to sow his seed…’ (Matthew 13:3)
Matthew 13 represents a pivotal time in Jesus ministry, or at least in Matthew’s account of it. Up until this point a lot of Jesus teaching has been in Synagogues, but from this point forward we find that more and more it is out in the open, like here by the seashore and, perhaps in light of that, we see that Jesus parables become slightly more fuller in what Jesus says. Matthew 13 contains a number of parables but the parable of the sower is perhaps the most vivid of all the parables Jesus told in that its descriptive language really invites us to be part of that story for ourselves.
We all know this parable so well, but read it again – verses 1-9 and then consider it from two perspectives. First of all as someone who hears the Word of God. Reflect on the different types of ground that the seed fell on and the subsequent outcome as a result of that and then ask yourselves, which type of ground am I most like? A difficult question, perhaps, but also one that we have maybe considered before. However, I wonder if we have considered that we might be a different type of ground at different times in our lives. Think again now about that and then ask yourselves why that might have been the case – and how can we be more like the good ground more of the time.
Notwithstanding the above, there is also something in this parable which is relevant to those who spread or share the Word of God. For the reality is that as we seek to sow the Word of God, we do not know for certain what kind of ground it is falling upon in terms of those listening to us, nor do we know for certain what effect our seed is having. Yet sometimes we expect quick and instant results to our witness and may get disheartened and discouraged when we fail to see any sign of that. This parable offers us some encouragement in that. Whether or not we see immediate results, there will always be a harvest. It may take time – but there will always be a harvest. And the more we allow God’s Word to permeate our hearts and souls, and the more we share it with others, ultimately, the greater that harvest will be.