February 05, 2018

A Wasteful Seed Story

Luke 8:4-15

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.

—  Luke 8:5

Imagine the setting: Jesus has been preaching in many towns and villages. On this particular day, a large crowd gathers from town after town. Jesus stops, looks at the crowd, and tells the story of a farmer who scatters seed that lands on the footpath, on rocky soil, among thorns, and also on good, fertile soil.

A lot of seed was wasted as the farmer spread it wide. But Jesus was not trying to teach people good planting practices. He was asking everyone to consider this story from the Father’s point of view. It’s likely that very few of his listeners caught Jesus’ point in this parable. Even his disciples had to ask him what the story really meant.

Here’s the scoop. Jesus himself is the sower as he spreads the word of God in all kinds of people’s minds and hearts. Some pay attention and hear, and others don’t. Jesus ends the story by urging people to pay attention to his words so that the Word of God can root and grow in them. That’s how the kingdom of God comes, under the conditions of God’s patient mercy through his Son.

Are you someone whose heart is fertile soil to hear God’s Word? And are you spreading that seed widely and wildly to others?

Dear Jesus, test the soil of my heart today. Thank you for wastefully spreading your good Word in my life. Make my heart ready to receive the gift of your life-giving Word, that it may grow and produce a crop to share with others. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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