One day, Jesus was teaching to a huge crowd. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, labors, men and women, young and old. They had seen this before. A huge crowd but many drifted away after the excitement was over. They couldn’t figure out who would fall away and who would join.
As he left the barn, some seeds landed on the path. And the birds had a feast.
Some of the seeds fell on the rocky soil. They grew but didn’t have much root. When the sun got hot and there wasn’t much rain they wilted.
Some fell in thorny plants. And they grew and choked them.
Finally, he got to the field and the seeds landed in good soil. They had deep roots and lots of water. So, the harvest was plentiful.
The disciples were tax collectors and fishermen, they understand the Parable. They knew the seeds fell on the path and eaten by birds. Plants would die of weeds or no water. But they didn’t understand how the seeds like the Kingdom of God. They didn’t understand the parable’s spiritually.
So, Jesus explained the parable. The soils represent different ways that people receive Good News. The Good News is God loved us and gave his Son to die for our sins. But people react differently. The seeds represent the Message of the Gospel. And the message is God loved us!
There are two levels to apply this message to our lives. The first is the cosmic level. On the cosmic level God is the sower! God sows the seeds everywhere. God sends the Good News to everyone no matter who they are and where they are. And Jesus preached the Good News for all to hear.
The Pharisees and Sadducees heard, but they had hardened hearts like a well-worn path. And the master of lies told them that Jesus was a blasphemer, a Sabbath breaker, and not even the Messiah.
Jesus called Judas to be his follower. He followed, but when times get tough, he felt away and betrayed Jesus. His roots were not deep enough. His own greed and self-love got in their way. Jesus offered the Kingdom to a rich young ruler who was begging for it. He didn’t get it because he cared more for his wealth than God.
Like weeds the cares of this world choked out the Gospel. Jesus called tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus. They were traitors but they became loyal to Jesus. Their deeds produced plentiful harvest.
God sows the seed everywhere no matter what the soil looks like. After all - some of us were pretty rocky soil. But God is still calling you and me to be growers of love. And God keeps sowing the seeds!
God keeps throwing seeds at soil that hasn’t produced before. Some of us have let our relationship with Jesus wither because of our business or concerns. But God is gracious and keeps giving us his love. And the roots of his love overcome the obstacles in our lives.
The second level is the earthly level. So, you and I are the sowers! Jesus has given us some seeds and told us to spread. Some people would think we should only spread it in good soil. That would seem logical.
But God tells us to spread his love everywhere, even where the potential of growth is not great. I remember volunteering at a church Soup Kitchen one time. There were some hard people who came in each day. We graciously gave them soup and sandwiches. Most were impolite and thankless. Some were even rude.
One day a woman came. She said she had eaten there when she had no food. Her situation was better now but she had no money to give us. So, she gave us what she had; she sang. Her beautiful voice echoed in that hall. God’s love sown in her heart had brought forth a harvest of gratitude.
Some said, “You’re wasting your time on those people.” But God knows better. God tells us to spread the seed of God’s love everywhere. Sometimes it will be stolen or it will die. But we should not worry about the outcomes! We should be faithful to Jesus and his love!
One day, God looked down from heaven and saw the emptiness of humanity. God decided to sow some love. God sent the angels to proclaim the word that God was loving and steadfast, but many people refused to believe them. God sent the prophets and many choked them out. Then God sent his Son, and he spread his arms out on a cross and said, “God loves you this much.” Many mocked him and killed him, but a few believed! So, that message of love grew in their hearts and they spread it to others.
Jesus died for all people. Not just for Christians. Jesus died so that anyone could enter the Kingdom of God. Anyone means anyone! Not just the ones who wealthy. Not just the ones who are nice and polite to everyone. Not just the ones who are active at church. Not just the ones who looks like us, but everyone. Jesus died for everyone - even you and me!
Spread the seed of God’s love to everyone! Don’t say, “They’re not church people. Or we shouldn’t help them because they will never come to our church. Or they’re different from us!”
Spread God’s love to everyone without prejudice! The harvest may not be impressive, or it may be! Either way the Lord of the harvest will be proud of you. Shalom and Amen!
Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23